National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week in Australia.
This week is NAIDOC week in Australia, a celebration and recognition of Indigenous culture and history, that used to be just one day, but was extended to cover a week back in the 70s. Each year has a theme, intended to highlight a particular issue or celebrate a milestone or anniversary. This year, the intent is to mark the anniversary of bark petitions sent to the federal parliament to protest mining rights granted to allow access to Yolngu country in Arnhem Land. I love that we have this yearly celebration of a culture so important to the history of Australia, and that it’s so varied and rich. So many groups, languages, stories – NAIDOC week helps non-Indigenous Australians see past what they’re fed in the media or through bigotry to hopefully understand the context and importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. To recognise there’s so much that came before Australia as we know it. I hope it continues to make a difference and celebrate a fantastic range of stuff for years to come.
I’ve had a bunch of links popping up in my social media feeds from friends at home posting about articles and events for the week. There’s some great images in my Twitter feed from museums I follow like the Melbourne Museum’s cultural centre and the Queensland Museum, too.
I’m surprised, then, that I didn’t see similar things showing up in my feed for the recently passed National Aboriginal Day here in Canada in late June. There was stuff going on here in Ontario (a good deal in Toronto) but I didn’t see any of it promoted, linked to, spoken about in places I expected to. I only know about it in hindsight. I know that it doesn’t mean it wasn’t promoted, etc, just because one person didn’t see it, but I’m surprised when I compare it to what I’ve seen from back home!
I’ll make sure to look out for the celebrations next year in hopes that I simply missed mention of the national day. I hope the ROM will do something, considering their First Nations gallery.