How to connect with Nation in your travels

Drew Roberts is the founding father of Shared Information, an organisation delivering Aboriginal cultural experiences in Sydney, Australia. Right here, he shares what it means to connect with Nation and the way we are able to all do it respectfully and responsibly.

This weblog was delivered to you in partnership with Welcome to Nation, a not-for-profit market for Indigenous experiences in Australia.

First, some introductions…

  • Jinggiwala (The way you doing?)
  • Ngali na jugun (We belong to this Nation)
  • Ngali garima mala jugun (We glance after this Nation)

I’m Drew Roberts, founding father of Shared Information. I’m an Arakwal, Bundjalung man from the Northern Rivers, thereby making me a black sand, saltwater individual.

Shared Information delivers Aboriginal cultural experiences to guests, vacationers and company organisations. We’ve got been in partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens and Better Sydney Parklands for the final 5 years, educating locals and vacationers alike easy methods to stroll by way of Nation in a respectful and aware method. We provide a wide range of experiences protecting subjects reminiscent of bush meals, medication and semiotics of conventional artwork, in addition to training and consulting providers to teams who want assist in constructing relationships and data of First Nations communities.

What’s Nation?

A tour group in the Australian bush
Drew sharing his data with a bunch of travellers

For Australia’s First Nations individuals, Nation encompasses a harmonious relationship between me as a person and my ancestral lands and water. Inside our tradition, the three core fundamentals are respect, accountability and reciprocity. These fundamentals are linked to the land and water that the individuals use to channel the setting and cultural data. As my Nation is completely different to the opposite 249+ First Nations of Australia, each a part of my id is due to this fact completely different.

Palyku novelist and illustrator Ambelin Kwaymullina has this to say in regards to the definition of Nation to First Nations peoples:

“For Aboriginal peoples, Nation is way more than a spot. Rock, tree, river, hill, animal, human – all had been fashioned of the identical substance by the Ancestors who proceed to dwell in land, water, sky. Nation is stuffed with relations talking language and following Regulation, regardless of whether or not the form of that relation is human, rock, crow, wattle. Nation is beloved, wanted, and cared for, and Nation loves, wants, and cares for her peoples in flip. Nation is household, tradition, id. Nation is self.”

A group of travellers sampling Australian bush foods
Sampling bush meals in Sydney’s Botanic Gardens

First Nations cultures and communities are numerous, and there are lots of completely different nations and language teams all through Australia which are necessary components of this nation’s historical past – and future id – that ought to be honoured. Many First Nation tourism operators worth, rejoice and promote First Nations peoples’ tradition, languages, relationships to Nation, data and heritage.

A number of the nice issues about travelling and having the chance to stroll on Nation are experiencing the sights, sounds, tastes and traditions of an historic individuals – the oldest residing tradition on earth. By my work with Shared Information, I’ve discovered many travellers are in search of out better authenticity and cultural engagement, and curiosity in First Nations tourism continues to develop.

How can travellers connect with Nation respectfully and responsibly?

A man in sunglasses, a black tshirt and light-coloured shorts standing next to a brushy shrub
Drew is a black sand, saltwater individual

To connect with Nation in a significant method, it’s necessary to recollect a couple of key issues: go away your on a regular basis worries and duties behind. Return to the basics of tradition and recentre your self. Change your views in an effort to journey evenly by way of this continent’s numerous landscapes and Nations. And all the time bear in mind the core fundamentals if you’re exploring: Respect. Duty. Reciprocity.

Hold the next factors in thoughts when planning your travels to Nation:

  • All the time do your analysis and journey with Indigenous-owned operators the place potential. Welcome to Nation has a variety of experiences on their web site, from a few hours to multi-day itineraries.
  • Earlier than you permit, study as a lot as you’ll be able to in regards to the Nation you’re travelling to, reminiscent of place names, tribe names, historical past and native legends. You could possibly even strive studying a few of the native language.
  • All the time ask permission earlier than taking images of individuals, ceremonies and landmarks.
  • If invited, become involved in cultural practices like dances and smoke ceremonies, the place chances are you’ll stroll by way of a smoking web site or be patted down with smoking leaves to clear any adverse vitality and obtain a secure journey by way of Nation.
  • Ask questions, drop your guard, and open your self as much as concepts, experiences and prospects.

Discover First Nations experiences with our companion Welcome to Nation or take a look at Intrepid’s vary of cultural experiences right here.


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