Faculty of Fine Arts and Music at the University of Melbourne
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The Narrm Oration is the University’s key address profiling leading Indigenous peoples from across the world in order to enrich our ideas about possible futures for Indigenous Australia. The 2021 Narrm Oration will be delivered online by Professor Papaarangi Reid from the University of Auckland on the theme of Navigating Indigenous Futures.
‘If you google Indigenous peoples, the images that come up are usually of people wearing traditional ceremonial attire, in cultural settings or in remote locations. As Indigenous peoples, we have spent most of our post-colonial time surviving genocide, demanding Indigenous rights, telling and retelling Indigenous histories, reclaiming languages driven close to extinction, protecting our other-than-human relations in natural environments, and rebuilding the legitimacy of Indigenous knowledge traditions. Such colonial imagery and these battles force us to be constantly focused on the past.
Meanwhile, our present is littered with the “C” crises – colonialism, capitalism, consumerism, COVID, and climate. These critical current challenges are impacting hugely on our futures, both the futures that emerge and those we dare to envision.
Māori have a saying – i ngā rā o mua – the days of the past are in front of us, and therefore we walk into the future bringing our experiences of the past. To live up to the expectations of both our ancestors and our descendants as yet unborn, we need to fully imagine and plan to navigate Indigenous futures; to heal our planet and ourselves, to find joy, and to rebuild respectful relationships. In this oration, I will discuss issues I believe will help or hinder our navigation points into our futures.’
In A Short History of the Blockade, award-winning writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson uses Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg stories, storytelling aesthetics, and practices to explore the generative nature of Indigenous blockades through our relative, the beaver—or in Nishnaabemowin, Amik. Moving through genres, shifting through time, amikwag stories become a lens for the life-giving possibilities of dams and the world-building possibilities of blockades, deepening our understanding of Indigenous resistance as both a negation and an affirmation.
This recording of this event will be uploaded with captions.
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This webinar is the final in the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration’s 2021 Critical Public Conversations series: Exploring Indigenous Settler Relations.