Outdoor Education - Aboriginal perceptions of the land
Land has always been the definitive benchmark on how we see ourselves.
Australians relationship with the land has shaped the way that Australia
has developed as a nation. Aboriginal people have been a part of this land
for at least 60 000 years. The importance of the land to the Aboriginal
people is illustrated strongly in the key issues of the Council for
Aboriginal Reconciliation, their number one key issue is that of
understanding country. The council states, "The land and sea are important
to every Australian. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a
special, unique relationship. It's hard in the wider community to
understand this relationship. It centres on Ceremonies and The Dreaming, a
time beyond when Great Spirit beings created the world, people and animals.
Their tracks and spirits live on in this land and sea. Indigenous
Australians must care for their country - it's sacred. This is done through
rituals, ceremonies, and respect for the law and looking after the
environment. This sacred relationship is a fact of life. It has always
been, in the cities and in the bush, it's a basic part of life. For
reconciliation to occur, the wider community needs to understand and accept
indigenous Australians' relationship with the land and sea. Also required,
is an appreciation of what happens when this relationship is denied." From
this central issue in reconciliation we can see the importance of the land
to Aboriginals even today.
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