Reconciliation Week finishes today, and many early childhood education services recognised the week through a range of inspiring explorations into First Nations people and culture. The theme for 2021 is More than a Word, Reconciliation Takes Action. Similarly, we believe that more than just specific dates or weeks of acknowledgment, the journey towards reconciliation is ongoing, always. It is also a journey that is for all Australians to take, together.
Raising culturally aware children is a powerful part of the reconciliation journey. There are many ways we can ensure that children of today grow up to have a deep understanding of Australia’s history and our First Nations people and their culture.
With Reconciliation Week finishing up, make it your mission to continue to incorporate exploration into Indigenous history and culture in your early childhood education setting. Here are some ways you might do this:
Let Aboriginal people share their culture: A huge part of what we can do best is amplify the voices of our First Nations people. Ideally, have an Indigenous Australian come and share the culture with children. If this is not possible, there are many video resources to offer this experience.
Enjoy Aboriginal stories: The Dreamtime is the foundation of Aboriginal culture and spirituality – it’s also full of engaging and wonderful stories that children adore. There are countless books to choose from about Dreamtime stories: The Rainbow Serpent, How The Birds Got Their Colours and Mad Magpie are favourites.
Discover your local land: Do children know what the Indigenous name for the land they live in is? Explore Aboriginal land names and features of the land with children.
Play and learn through Aboriginal games: There are so many games to play that are traditional Aboriginal games. Many of the games also give an insight into history, looking at what they used as a ball for example. Try chuboochuboo or wabbyn.
There is so much to learn and share that will help children to appreciate Indigenous Australian culture. Together we can all continue along the journey toward reconciliation.
Please share more samples and ideas to implement with children on our Music and Wellbeing Facebook page.