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First Nations people reflect – questions and activities

Michele Frankeni  |  14 May 2020

Read New paths for our Church in the Winter edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the following questions and activities.

QUESTIONS

  • Why does Pope Francis say it is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions?
  • Why do indigenous peoples struggle with feeling welcome in the Church? Are there other groups that face a similar lack of welcome? What do you think Jesus would have to say about inclusion/exclusion?
  • What can you do to make different groups welcome?
  • There were complaints about media reporting on Querida Amazonia. What were the issues?

ACTIVITIES

Walk with us. Discuss as a class how you can accept the invitation ‘to walk with us in a movement of the Australian people for a better future’. What does that mean to you? How can you show respect for Indigenous culture and our environment?

Research First Nations customs and stories from your local area and nationally. Put together a booklet of local stories with appropriate illustrations.

Keeping the flame alive. The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Team of Victoria suggests that you find an appropriate place in your school or home for a special candle and each day light this candle as a way of keeping the ideals of Reconciliation alive and at the forefront of thinking. The ACM suggested using the following words:

‘By lighting this candle each day of Reconciliation Week we seek to keep alive the flame of Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. We honour what has already been achieved and seek to persevere with all that still remains “unfinished business” so that true justice and mutual respect can underpin our nation’s journey into the future.’

FOR YOUNGER STUDENTS

Read or summarise New paths for our Church in the Winter edition of Australian Catholics to the class. Ask the students to talk about their understanding of First Nations culture. Do they know any First Nations stories? What is a smoking ceremony?

Talk with the students about their family traditions. Are there special stories about members of their family? How do they know these stories and why do they think they are told?

Have the class draw a picture or write a short story about something that is unique to them and their family. It may be as simple as the family always have fish and chips on a Friday for tea, or they all wear matching beanies when they go to a sporting match.

Thinking about your stories and traditions, how might you feel if your family stories were lost or taken away from you? Consider what it might be like for many First Nations peoples who have lost connection to traditions and stories their families have shared for generations. What might we do to value those traditions as a society?

 

 

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