Why not Indigenous?

You may have noticed that we’re using the terms “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander” rather than “Indigenous”.

Well some people prefer the term Indigenous, while others prefer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

And in the end, I think there is probably as many reasons for one as for the other. Despite this, we have chosen to go with the latter. It may have something to do with our age (both in our forties). While we were growing up, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander was all we heard. Well – that and Murri, Koori, Goori etc. During the United Nations Year of Indigenous Peoples in 1993, the term INDIGENOUS became used more and more, til gradually it has become an accepted term throughout governmental agencies and inside the community.

We believe that there has been a trend within the communities to go back to the term Aboriginal, or even a step further and use langauge names (anecdotal evidence only).

So, we’ve decided, for better or worse, that we’ll go back to our original roots (so to speak) and use the term, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

What should you do?
If you’re in a school & are trying to work out what terms you should use, well firstly, go to your school community and ask them what they think. Secondly, you will also have policy documents written that will provide some direction.

What does your school do?

(Originally posted on criticalclassroom on TypePad on 09/11/20100)