As part of our Reconciliation Action Plan we shared some information with our team at AnalogFolk on the significance of NAIDOC week, and how to get involved while IRL events have been cancelled or postponed in Sydney.
We'd love to hear any other suggestions for how our team can get involved in NAIDOC week while staying at home - any online events, books, movies or podcasts that share and celebrate Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Cultures.
NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all people of Australia to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The name originates from the “National Aborigines* and Islanders Day Observance Committee” who were the group responsible for organising NAIDOC week events, and it has since become the name of the week.
*The term “Aborigines” is largely considered an outdated, derogatory term and found offensive by many Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is recommended that this term should not be used today.
What is the history of NAIDOC Week?
NAIDOC Week originated from protests on Australia Day, right back to the 1920s
After protests on Australia Day by Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples, an annual Day of Mourning was organised for the Sunday before Australia Day, known as “Aborigines* Day”. It was then moved to the first Sunday in July after it was decided it should not only be a protest day, but also a day celebrating Aboriginal Culture.
A committee was formed around this day (NADOC, which later became NAIDOC) and from 1974 it became a week of celebrations.
More info on the full history of NAIDOC Week: https://www.naidoc.org.au/about/history
Why is NAIDOC Week significant?
Why NAIDOC Week is significant, told by First Nations peoples from an anonymous survey by @blakbusiness on instagram:
“NAIDOC is a week of celebrating and coming together with mob from all over the country. It's a week that makes me very proud to be an Aboriginal person”
“[It’s a] time of reflection, remembering important people in our community, a time to celebrate but also knowing what this week comes from. Knowing that it came from resistance, strength, fighting for justice, fighting against colonialism, white supremacy, ongoing acts of genocide, and celebration of invasion. NAIDOC is for us, and for many, it's a time to celebrate who we are unapologetically, loud and proud.”
“I [would] love to see non-Indigenous Australia celebrating NAIDOC, getting involved in events, lending a hand, paying respect, and most importantly getting educated about our culture and our history and how they can help with healing and positive changes going forward,”
See full survey results here: https://www.blakbusiness.com.au/naidoc-2021-survey
What is is the focus this year?
The theme of NAIDOC Week this year is “Heal Country!”
This theme calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction. Below are a few excerpts from the full, powerful statement from NAIDOC’s website:
Country is inherent to our identity.
It sustains our lives in every aspect - spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and culturally. It is more than a place.
For generations Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have been calling for stronger measures to recognise, protect, and maintain all aspects of our culture and heritage for all Australians.
We have continued to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration, and destruction.
We are still waiting for those robust protections.
Healing Country means hearing those pleas to provide greater management, involvement, and empowerment by Indigenous peoples over country.
Healing Country is more than changing a word in our national anthem – it is about the historical, political, and administrative landscapes adapting to successfully empower and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, nations, and heritage.
Read the full statement on “Heal Country” here.
How can we get involved?
We can get involved through learning about & celebrating Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander cultures.
Unfortunately IRL events for NAIDOC have been cancelled or postponed in Sydney. Some online options are:
Check out NITV or some of the below TV show & movie recommendations:
Find a book to read to learn about First Nations cultures and experiences, such as:
AnalogFolk respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land on which our Australian office is based, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.