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Old 09-22-2007, 09:24 PM   #16
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What's really sad is that I probably learnt just as much about Aboriginal culture in New Zealand primary school as Aussie kids do here, and that was in addition to weekly lessons (sometimes more frequently) about Maori language and culture. I remember when we learnt about the Dreamtime and some other mythological stuff that appeals to kids, and we even had some Aboriginal dancers visit my school.

Here in Australia, all we ever did was a bit of grade nine History about the colonisation of Australia. It boiled down to: "There were Aborigines. They were pretty in touch with the land and had a shitload of languages. Then along came some white guys. Now let's talk about the first Governor!"
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Old 09-22-2007, 10:31 PM   #17
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Age-old languages biting the dust?

Somewhere, Tom Tancredo is praising the Lord.
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Here in Australia, all we ever did was a bit of grade nine History about the colonisation of Australia. It boiled down to: "There were Aborigines. They were pretty in touch with the land and had a shitload of languages. Then along came some white guys. Now let's talk about the first Governor!"
Right, in Primary school we were rather more involved with Aboriginal culture - excursions to museums, watching didgeroodo players, visiting significant areas and such. Yet it seems none of that rubbed off on anyone other than myself, maybe because I was one of the only kids that actually had Aboriginal friends at the time.

There is still a downright sickening amount of racism in my area - I barely hear a good word about Aboriginals, even from people in my circle. When I raised money for an indigenous community last year as a social studies project, more than a few of my peers asked "why?"

I think I'm getting a little off the rails here, but I have a huge interest and respect for native cultures in colonized countries, I only began learning basic American history (we learned nothing of it in our awful school, which denied history lessons) because I was interested in the Iroquois Confederacy, and I would find myself preferring to read about their efforts in the American Revolution and 1812 than the Europeans. I think they were one of the great civilizations of the time, yet now there are only several hundred speakers of their native tongues... and they're still one of the larger native groups living from Michigan to New England.

Basically, being reminded of news like this makes me sad.
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:14 PM   #19
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There are many tribes in america who are trying to perserve their languages. There are some elementary schools in Oklahoma who are doing an immersion program where the teachers and students mostly speak Cherokee.
Also, if you have ever traveled to the Navajo reservation in the southwest, it's almost like you're in another country because everywhere you go somebody is speaking in Navajo, even the dj's on the radio only speak Navajo.
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