Safeguarding First Language and Culture: Resources for the next generation

Senior Arrernte and Bininj elders in Central Australia and Arnhem Land have identified that the next generation of children are at risk of losing first language due to social change and decreasing opportunities for the culturally safe practice of First Language and traditional arts practice. The best way to preserve, protect and revive languages and culture is to ensure they are vibrant in the next generation. This project will protect and strengthen First Nations languages, cultures and arts in the next generation of children through the creation of learning resources and activities to build literacy and strong language skills for 3-8 year olds, using culturally appropriate imagery, deepening each child’s identity. Children’s Ground works alongside elders and educators to ensure children have school and early learning environments that reflect and honour their culture and language. Evidence shows it will help develop strong learning habits, leading to higher quality education and outcomes. Children’s Ground’s goal is long-term social change for some of the most disadvantaged people in Australia, First Nations families in the Northern Territory. In particular, we focus on improving the health, learning and long-term wellbeing of a generation of Arrernte and Kunwinjku-speaking children. This project will fund cultural elders with senior knowledge and practice to lead the design and transmission of language resources and traditional arts for the next generation. Daily intergenerational transmission through learning environments will be augmented with the development and design of print and digital resources for Arrernte and Bininj children. E-Books and other learning resources will engage and deepen children’s language skills and their identity as Aboriginal people, which is known to be a protective factor supporting long term wellbeing.