7. Locate local Indigenous issues in global contexts

In graduate attributes policies, only a very few Australian universities (so far) have policies specifying that all graduates should develop an understanding and awareness of Indigenous issues and perspectives. Nearly all universities, however, aspire to ideals of global citizenship and/or internationalised perspectives and skills for their graduates.

 As these Approaches from our exemplary teachers show, we can internationalise and Indigenise our curriculum at the same time. Broadening the learning of our students in this way is being done across an ever wider range of disciplines.

7.1 'My major interest is in looking at global Indigenous struggles… I attempt to get students to see how Indigenous issues arise in other contexts, and how they get resolved - or not. The teaching is about exploring possibilities of being Indigenous - Guatemala, Bolivia where they have an Indigenous head of state, Zapatistas - places where there are large Indigenous populations that dominate the political culture. It's important for people to see that Indigenous people are not always marginalised. My approach is trying to move outside of the Australian context.' (Newcastle)

7.2 'Everything has Indigenous content in this subject. There's always an Indigenous issue - it's raised every week… I basically think the Western world has messed up the environment and so we need to look at Indigenous and traditional peoples' approaches for solutions. That means sharing, thinking outside the square - so my approach is geared to getting students to think about how to solve environmental problems… And there is also an ethical dimension - to address inequities. I'd like to put all students on a path of becoming global citizens.' (Macquarie)

7.3 'I get students to do cultural activities that teach them about tribal identity et cetera - and to place themselves not just as a student, but as an Australian. For international students I teach them how to relate their Indigenous people - in their own countries - to Australian Indigenous people. And I teach them how to talk openly about racial issues - which are confronting for them - to just talk about it basically.' (La Trobe)

7.4 'It's not about us and them - it's not focused only on Australia. We look at global Indigenous issues, we do comparative analyses and how different forms of Indigeneity occur all over the world - but there are also many similarities. This is often a real eye-opener to the students.' (Macquarie)

7.5 'In my lectures … I first look at "the global Indigene", for example the UN declarations. I include the contradictions, for example the problematic relationship between Indigenous culture-specific issues on the one hand, and universal human rights on the other. Then I move on to Indigenous peoples in Australia and what it means to be an anthropologist in Australia today.' (La Trobe)

7.6 'They come away with a broader knowledge of colonisation - especially by third year - with international perspectives on colonisation. For example, we study reggae in Jamaica and the issues with how it developed. They come away with a broad focus… So it's students engaging with material they've never heard of [before] like the Sami of Sweden, or the Travellers in Europe.' (Wollongong)

7.7 'This is another important aspect, getting Indigenous health seen as a global medical health issue.' (Melbourne)


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