Proud First Nations educator and Wiradjuri man, Adam Shipp believes that by teaching younger generations about First Nations knowledge systems and traditional ways of caring for Country, we’ll build better understanding and partnerships moving forward – for the environment and our communities.
“The knowledge that comes from our Elders and ancestors that have come before us, are extremely important to capture and keep alive. Our lands will be much healthier in doing so,” says Adam, who helped to develop the 10 new First Nations perspectives learning activities on the Junior Landcare Learning Centre.
In addition to the curriculum-linked activities, Adam has top three tips to help embed First Nations perspectives in everyday learning experiences and activities, starting in your very own backyard. Which ones will you try?
Tip 1: Sit, look and listen to Country
Take some time to just sit and observe. Have a look at the animals coming to visit the trees and plants around you. What can you see? What can you hear? What season are you in? What does it feel like to be outside; for example, are you feeling a little warmer? (Check out the Junior Landcare Learning Centre for more about exploring First Nations weather knowledge here.)
Tip 2: Know your native fauna and flora
Different areas have different fauna and flora, and if you notice the fauna and flora unique to your area, this is wonderful way to connect with what’s in your backyard. Research what plants are native to your area and see if you can find out a First Nations use for them. For example, Eucalyptus and Melaluca trees are often planted on road verges in the suburbs, and both are extremely important to First Nations people and have a number of uses. (For ideas on how to create your own Indigenous plant use garden, click here).
Tip 3: Do it local!
Connect with local mobs or elders in your area. Even if it’s just to listen to a local story this will help you to understand your Country better. First Nations groups across Australia provide important knowledge systems and traditional practices that have been caring for our beautiful lands since time immemorial.
Remember, the Junior Landcare Learning Centre has 10 curriculum-linked First Nations perspectives learning activities that are supported by a series of educational videos that include the topics areas of Local seasons exploring First Nations weather, Creating an Indigenous plant use garden, and Whose Country, exploring First Nations peoples languages map. Find them here.