21 – Sarah S.

I studied the cultural importance and relationship with food that indigenous people have and how it has been disrupted since white settlement. Rationing was an extremely uprooting experience for indigenous tribes, and was used to control tribes by not providing them with enough food and holding back on distribution if they were not giving settlers what they wanted. This can easily be compared with the way rationing hurt Native Americans, and how their own culture was disrupted by food rationing.

The source which I started with which proved to be useful on my final project was Food, Control, and Resistance: Rations and Indigenous Peoples in the United States and South Australia by Tamara J Levi and W.R. Echo-Hawk. I formed the backbone of my project based on the book Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe, a look into the cultural practices of Aboriginals through the lens of early European explorers. He used their observations of settlement and agriculture without an understanding for what it was to help piece together the story of Aboriginal lifestyles.

Aboriginal people used the land to grow native plants and harvest native animals from the land and from the water, but it did not cost the environment around them. Their system of caring for the land with fire stick farming, allowing plants and animal populations to regrow, kept the land flourishing. Their ability to survive had a lot to do with the cultural traditions as well, the importance of food to them and the spiritual connection to the land. This connection was attacked when Europeans arrived, and only recently is beginning to be healed. Education on the topic can allow the progression of this knowledge so that the cultural traditions from Aboriginals of stewardship and environmental sustainability, as well as the social bonds and structures, can once again thrive in Australia.

Links to Look Into If You Are Interested!





Key Citations

Climate threats to Australia agriculture. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.futurefarmers.com.au/young-carbon-farmers/carbon-farming/climate-threats-to-australiaa-agriculture

Davy, D. (2016, December). Australia’s Efforts to Improve Food Security for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394999/

In the Name of Protection. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://australianstogether.org.au/discover/australian-history/protection/

Levi, T. J., & Echo-Hawk, W. R. (2016). Food, control, and resistance: Rationing of indigenous peoples in the United States and South Australia.

Pascoe, B. (2018). Dark emu: Aboriginal Australia and the birth of agriculture.

Soldatic, K., & Spurway, K. (2019, July 11). Why Aboriginal people need autonomy over their food supply. Retrieved July 20, 2019, from http://theconversation.com/why-aboriginal-people-need-autonomy-over-their-food-supply-41812

The Importance of Food and Nutrition in Aboriginal Communities. (2016, February 23). Retrieved from http://www.futuredirections.org.au/publication/the-importance-of-food-and-nutrition-in-aboriginal-communities/.

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