A holistic approach to revitalising our Anaiwan language

A School of Education seminar presented on September 28th, 2017 by Callum Clayton-Dixon and Bradley Widders

In April 2016 members of the local Aboriginal community established the Anaiwan Language Revival Program. We have been left with little more than fragments of our ancestral tongue due to the wholesale dispossession of indigenous land, life and liberty on the New England Tableland. In the face of this seemingly bleak predicament, we identified and acted on the need for a concerted, community-based and community-driven Anaiwan language revitalisation effort. Our focus at this point is developing the Anaiwan language knowledge book, including the first comprehensive dictionary and grammar, based on all available archival material. This process involves identifying and analysing the data we have collected, from its morphological features to dialectal variation. As the core of my research, I am developing a de-colonial approach to the revitalisation of a dormant Aboriginal language. This holistic approach is two-pronged: addressing the roles of non-Anaiwan people, organisations (including universities) and governments in supporting the revitalisation of our language; and developing a framework for Anaiwan people to decolonise our language, reinstating its fundamental role in our relationship with kin and country.

This seminar consists of 2 parts:
Part 1: Reparations, self-determination and land justice
Part 2: Repatriation of language to community, culture and country