thread: Genuine question about Aboriginal culture...

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2008
    In a cloud of madness.
    4,053

    Genuine question about Aboriginal culture...

    I know this is in the religion section, its about the closest I could come up with.

    I wanted to ask a genuine question about Aboriginal people. Why do people of Aboriginal background find it offensive if someone calls them indigenous???
    This isn't to have a go, I'm genuinely interested because I find it changes all the time and I'm always worried ill say the wrong thing.

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Jan 2008
    Central Coast NSW
    2,160

    I didn't realize it was? I teach aboriginal students and teach some Aboriginal topics as part of History and I refer to them as indigenous regularly.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2008
    In a cloud of madness.
    4,053

    I didn't realize it was? I teach aboriginal students and teach some Aboriginal topics as part of History and I refer to them as indigenous regularly.
    That's what I thought too. I was at a meeting tonight and the lady said it was offensive. I didn't want to ask there why..

  4. #4
    Registered User

    Jan 2008
    Central Coast NSW
    2,160

    As far as I'm aware the term "indigenous" is purely a descriptive term that doesn't in itself carry negative or offensive connotations. Obviously context within a sentence can change this, but referring to Aboriginal people as indigenous is not (in my opinion) offensive. Was the woman at the meeting of Aboriginal heritage? Seems strange to me!

    ETA: The banner ad at the top of the page says "Raise your hand to help indigenous kids" - so another example of it not being offensive

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Sep 2005
    In the middle of nowhere
    9,362

    I'd be interested to find out why too. :scratchhead:
    It's used all the time here where more than half the population are Aboriginal.

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2008
    In a cloud of madness.
    4,053

    As far as I'm aware the term "indigenous" is purely a descriptive term that doesn't in itself carry negative or offensive connotations. Obviously context within a sentence can change this, but referring to Aboriginal people as indigenous is not (in my opinion) offensive. Was the woman at the meeting of Aboriginal heritage? Seems strange to me!

    ETA: The banner ad at the top of the page says "Raise your hand to help indigenous kids" - so another example of it not being offensive
    Yeah she was she was an elder.
    They were all getting a bit feisty so I didn't feel comfortable asking te question then and there

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2011
    New South Wales
    216

    The word indigenous can really apply to anyone who is "of" a particular place. Eg I was born in Australia and live here and am therefore indigenous to Australia.
    The word aborigine refers to the first people. I have also heard the word aborigine used to refer to the first people of Canada.
    So I guess what it comes down to is how the words are commonly used (which is often incorrectly) and then what they actually mean.

  8. #8
    Registered User

    Jan 2008
    Central Coast NSW
    2,160

    When the term indigenous is used to refer to people, it is generally taken to mean first people's, not just people of that nationality. I am Australian, but not indigenous. Aborigine is a word that also literally means indigenous.

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2013
    85

    It's not offensive. What was the context? How was it said (tone of voice, loudness, etc)?

  10. #10

    Jun 2010
    District Twelve
    8,425

    This might help.

    http://www.health.qld.gov.au/atsihea...erminology.pdf

    Guidelines for correct use of ‘Indigenous’
    As ‘Indigenous’ is not specific, some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel the term diminishes their identity and should be avoided. Queensland Health’s preference is to primarily use ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’; however in certain circumstances ‘Indigenous’ with capitalisation is acceptable.
     Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Queenslander (preferable)
     Indigenous Queenslander (acceptable)

    The lowercase word ‘indigenous’ is only used when referring to people originating in more than one region or country, therefore, when referring to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, lowercase ‘indigenous’ is not acceptable.

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2011
    New South Wales
    216

    In general usage, yes we most often consider that indigenous refers to aborigine people. But, the correct meaning of those words is as I described above.
    I am guessing that is where the offense stems from- by not correctly referring to someone, which can be seen as a lack of respect.
    And if someone is offended by that, it is therefore offensive to them and not for us to say that it is not offensive. (That sounds really weird, but you get what I mean)

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Dec 2007
    Victoria
    7,260

    We touched on this in a unit I did at uni last year.

    Basically, it implies they are all the same - that they all come from the some cultural and societal groups, which is hugely incorrect. The idea of them all being 'one people' (for want of a better phrase) is viewed as being a product of British subjugation and ignorance of the way the nations functioned.



    So, it would be like speaking Europeans as a whole race, with no reverence for the fact that "Europeans" are actually German, and French and Polish...etc.

    The Koori people prefer to be called Koori, the Bunurong would rather be identified as Bunurong. Like Australian's in general may well prefer to be called Australian's than "Oceanic people".