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Rights to culture and knowledge

The Centre for Human Rights Education is contributing to research which advocates Indigenous peoples’ right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions.

Current projects include:

Our stories, our way: Collaborative methodology for Indigenous oral history Dr Elfie Shiosaki, John Curtin Distinguished Professor Anna Haebich, MCCA, Dr Michelle Johnson, MCCA, Dr Sue Anderson, University of South, Dr Lorina Barker, University of New England and Ms Brenda Gifford, National Film and Sound Archive (2016 - continuing)

Curtin University funded project.

Oral traditions in Indigenous communities are framed by unique Indigenous epistemologies. This research project explores innovative methodologies for preserving Indigenous oral histories which empower Indigenous people to tell their own stories in their own way. This project supports an emerging national network of researchers from Curtin, the University of South Australia, the University of New England and the National Film and Sound Archive.

The legacy of early Noongar political activism, 1900-1930s Dr Elfie Shiosaki (2015 - 2019)

Curtin University funded project.

New national and transnational narratives of Indigenous political autonomy are emerging which contest and negotiate accounts of Australian history. This project unearths a seemingly hidden treasury of knowledge about early political activism by Noongar people in Western Australia from the turn of the twentieth century until the 1930s. It contributes to emerging narratives of autonomy by amplifying significant Western Australian voices.

'Ancestor words': Noongar letter writing in Western Australian government archives from the 1860s to the 1960s John Curtin Distinguished Professor Anna Haebich, MCCA, Dr Tiffany Shellam, Monash University, Dr Elfie Shiosaki and Professor Ellen Percy Kraly, Colgate University (2014 - continuing)

Funding body: ARC Discovery Project

The archives in Western Australia contain hundreds of letters written by Noongar people between 1860 and 1960. Captured in the letters are many silenced stories of courage and activism. This research project will reunite letters with descendants of the letter writers. With these hidden stories restored to the families, the letters will come alive and once again be part of the Noongar living culture and history.