The legacy of racism and Indigenous Australian identity within education
It may be argued that the emerging discourses focusing on the social, emotional, educational, and economic disadvantages identified for Australia’s First Peoples (when compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts) are becoming increasingly dissociated with an understanding of the interplay between historical and current trends in racism. Additionally, and if not somewhat related to this critique, it can be suggested that the very construction of research from a Western perspective of Indigenous identity (as opposed to identities) and ways of being are deeply entwined within the undertones of epistemological racism still prevalent today. It is the purpose of this article to move beyond the overreliance of outside-based understanding Western epistemologies, and to explore not only the complex nature of both racism and identity from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, but to also explore the role of education and research in perpetuating varying levels of racism and resistance to Indigenous identity(ies) from a contemporary insider-based standpoint. It is hoped this article will shed some light on the pervasive nature of racism directed at Indigenous Australians, and highlight the need for the continual acceptance, respect, and promotion of Indigenous voices and identities within the educational environment and beyond.
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