NAIDOC Week & First Nations Narratives

NAIDOC Week 2020 is a chance to celebrate First Nations stories in TV, film, books and music.

NAIDOC Week 2020

This week is NAIDOC week in Australia. In 2020, this year’s theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for the continent for over 65,000 years. Originally borne from a day of protest, NAIDOC Week each year reminds the country of the ongoing aspirations of Aboriginal and Islander communities as they continue the movement towards justice and equality.

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’, which was responsible for organising national activities during this week in July to celebrate First Nations people in Australia.

SBS has a week of programs dedicated to celebrating NAIDOC Week from documentaries and current affairs to Big Mob Brekky, a morning show on NITV, along with Indigenous movies. A first this year, Netflix has partnered with NAIDOC to highlight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content across its streaming service. It wants to ‘share the mic’ by pointing to Indigenous stories on Netflix, NITV/SBS, and ABC iView. Facebook will also livestream a NAIDOC concert featuring Archie Roach, Ash Barty and Jessica Mauboy in a Facebook world first XR video production that reimagines her song Butterfly.

Earlier in the year, the Broad looked at where you can find Indigenous films and TV in this post so do take the opportunity to watch these entertaining and important stories. 

A Note on Blackfulla Bookclub

Blackfulla Bookclub is an Instagram account created by Wiradjuri and Wailwan lawyer, activist and storyteller Teela May Reid along with lawyer Min Dutton that is a platform to highlight books and writing on the many aspects of Indigenous identity and storytelling. Teela May Reid is the author of Our Matriarchs Matter, for which she won the Daisy Utemorrah Award for an unpublished manuscript. The book is expected to be published next year by Magabala Books, a publisher dedicated to supporting Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander authors, illustrators and artists and publishes a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books across all genres.

Teela May Reid and Min Dutton Image credit: Blackfulla Book Club/Instagram

A Note On Shaping a First Nations Narrative

Teela May Reid has also written an essay in Griffith Review about how important it is to create a narrative that respects First Nations’ sovereignty.

“The architecture of a society is shaped by structures that form the power to tell a nation’s story. And our capacity to create a narrative that respects First Nations sovereignty depends on the value we place on hearing the sacred voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our quest for the truth of our giilangs – our stories.”

A Note On the New Macquarie Dictionary & Podcast

This year, the eighth edition of the Macquarie Australian Dictionary was recently released with a foreword by Indigenous writer Kim Scott, who notes the inclusion of many Indigenous words with their definitions reflecting their place within certain Indigenous language groups, rather than simply being labeled ‘Aboriginal’ as they once would have been. Macquarie Dictionary and PanMacmillian Australia produce a podcast, Word For Word, and this one examines how an ancient, endangered language can live and thrive today with author Kim Scott, music historian Clint Bracknell and performer and director Kylie Bracknell.

Celebrating Indigenous women in music

Digital radio station Double J has marked NAIDOC Week with this Indigenous women in music playlist by Emma Donovan, featuring songs by favourite performers like Christine Anu, Ruby Hunter and Tiddas and new voices such as Emily Wurramara, Kee’ahn and Spinifex Gum.

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Rosalyn Page
Journalist, blogger and writer covering arts, culture, travel and digital lifestyle at www.rosalynpage.com and www.somenotesfromabroad.com.

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