Include Aboriginal Studies in the School Curriculum

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Aboriginal Studies should be apart of the school curriculum, taught by indigenous people/elders and be available to all Indigenous students. 

It’s the Aboriginal way to pass down knowledge through generations but after assimilation and the removal of indigenous children in 1910, this is a foundation that has been lost. I come from one indigenous parent who was not taught anything about his culture, because of this I have had no way to learn about my history and the ways of my ancestors. The education I experienced throughout school was very limited in terms of Aboriginal culture and history. 

The cycle of passing down our language, tradition, knowledge, dance and spirituality has been broken, and school is a way to reestablish that connection. 

What is taught in these studies and what will be open to non-indigenous students is to be determined by Aboriginal Elders. 

It’s important that the beginning of Australia’s history is no longer taught to start in 1788, with the ‘arrival’ of the first fleet. Australia has history long before then, and to not acknowledge it excludes all indigenous people. The first fleet should be taught for what it really was, not an arrival but an invasion, that lead to the murder, rape and slavery of Aboriginal, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander people. 

I would also like to see current issues facing indigenous people taught in schools. Wrongful prosecution, mass incarceration, police brutality, high unemployment rates, poverty, health concerns such as diabetes, the destruction of sacred sites and the continued and wrongful removal of children.

Aboriginal Studies being taught in schools will not only give indigenous people support and access to their culture, but create understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous people. This will remove tension and minus racism, and hopefully also lead to the end of Australia Day celebrations. 

Aboriginal Studies will also create more jobs and employment opportunities for Indigenous people, doing something that Australia’s First Nations People have always done, teach.