Who Are Indigenous Australi Identity?

1619 WordsMay 7, 20177 Pages
The simple dictionary definition of ‘identity’ focuses on notions of individuality and self (Collins English Dictionary, n.d.), yet any elaboration of an individual’s sense of self, will inevitably become relational, including details such as parents, siblings and where one is born. This expands into a social setting whereby an association with community and wider society become components contributing to self-definition, and then further again, including elements of cultural identity in forming traditions and beliefs, thus broadening the above, simple dictionary definition (French, 2011). The presentation of Lecture 3 “Who are Indigenous Australia: Identity” (Franklin, 2017), begs the examination into what is ‘identity’, and what it means…show more content…
Language is powerful and the negative framing of Aboriginal identity creates a deficit mindset of failure and disempowerment, that pervades Aboriginal communities (Fforde, Bamblett, Lovett, Gorringe, & Fogarty, 2013). This perspective and discourse of deficit, is the one that carried through to the education I received in the 70’s and 80’s. My understandings, assumptions and points of reference in regard to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, commenced with the representations absorbed whilst in early formative education. My representations of Indigenous identity were rooted in a European construction of what Indigenous peoples were determined to be from the perspective of the victor nation, rather than actually knowing any Aboriginal peoples or engaging with them (Fforde et al., 2013). Throughout my schooling, Indigenous peoples were invariably portrayed in one of two ways. Firstly, as either the traditional, spear wielding powerful hunter, infused with the ‘stories’ from The Dreamings and the presumptions of primitiveness; this image implied these were the ‘real’, authentic and only Aboriginal peoples. Or, framed in a discourse depicting Aboriginal people as problematic and troublesome to the progression of the new colony (Dodson, 1994).

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