Being Proud and Strong –developing cultural identity in Indigenous early childhood education


With the Torres Strait Islander children here, I think allowing them to express themselves both, culturally and personally, to continually reinforce the things that their substantial learnings that they bring from home, is really important. Allowing them to speak their language and to express to those things, and to be
involved as an outsider, as someone who’s not a culture bearer, to actually be involved in their world and to show respect and – more than respect, I think it’s like that you build
their curriculum around where they come from and who they are, and I think that’s how they build confidence, that’s how they build resilience. This is a society that, or community that
seems to place a lot of emphasis on relationships. I think it’s that interwoven relationships
that are here, that everyone has a context, everyone has a place, everyone has a respect for each other, and more about who you are than what you do or what you are.
Painting then you come tell Ms May your story. All right. Yeah. Sixty- six Sixty-six, ah, All right. Okay, Didong, okay
tell me your painting. Come sit on here. When…
When… Me pla..me pla {UNCLEAR} Thank you Didong. We are isolated geographically up here. The children are – often their experience is just this island. More often than not we’re focusing more on their place here, and the way they are connected to family and community here, so they can have a really strong sense of belonging here, so that when they do go outside of this community, that they – that that follows on from there. Look here. Look here. What are them? {UNCLEAR} We also need to be able to provide these experiences and activities for the children to – for them to become strong people. To come – for them to be able to express their feelings in a way that’s going to be acceptable later on
down the track. So, learning how to share, respecting your teachers, respecting your
fellow students in the room, being confident enough to go to the toilet, being confident
enough to ask for help when they can’t pull their trousers up. You know, and for us to
provide an area where they can do that without being ridiculed, without being put down. Always tell the pre-prep [children] when we sit together and talk and, I tell them that
in the long run you must teach like, try very hard to – to reach your goal. You must become like Miss May, as a teacher, or as a doctor, or nurses, or anything. I say to them, but
first you must complete all your goals, all activities, everything, until you reach to
that. So I – I hope that they will become a teacher one day, that teaches my grandson’s son, or daughter.

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