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    Default Indigenous heritage

    If your child is of aboriginal descent (or hypothetically if your child was of aboriginal descent), but only very distantly, and has been raised in a white, middle-class, privileged environment with very little knowledge of their indigenous heritage -

    Where a form asks if they are of aboriginal descent, do/would you tick "yes"?

    Why/why not?

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    I generally tick 'no' to boxes asking if I am Aboriginal, despite being of Aboriginal descent. I don't personally identify as Aboriginal, though my sister does, and she is recognised by the Aboriginal community.
    It may sound silly, but we grew up in the same house, with the same parents, she went to a different school where they embraced the Indigenous culture, whereas at my school the population was predominantly white Anglo. I do sometimes feel like I am missing out on my own heritage though.
    Sorry for the long spiel, i haven't really thought about it in great depth before, and I don't even think I answered your question

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    Gosh, that is a hard one if the child can't make that call themselves.

    Do you know what tribe the child would be from? Does the indigenous side of the family identify with that heritage? Are they recognised by the indigenous community?

    Those are the questions I would be asking. I would also want to seek out an elder from that community for guidance if possible.

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    Findmylunch, you did indeed answer my question, thank you!

    Ana, DD is of aboriginal descent on her father's side, he does know details about the tribe and some of his family in another state attend meetings (although he doesn't). He has copies of all the documentation/evidence.

    I feel really unqualified to make the decision for DD as it's not my background, but whenever I've asked her Dad what I should do he doesn't really have an opinion. For himself he sometimes says yes, sometimes says no, depending on why he thinks it is being asked.

    I usually say yes for DD as I have always thought DD should be proud of her heritage, and techincally it is the truth - she IS of aboriginal descent.

    However her teacher told me yesterday that she is required to do a special educational report for DD since she is of aboriginal descent and it has me thinking - am I doing the indigenous community a disservice by adding the data of a middle-class, privileged, "white" child to their education statistics?

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    I think that is definitely something I would raise with an elder to see what their thoughts might be.

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    Thansk Missie mack, exactly the sort of info I was after.

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    I was going to reply with what missie mack did just being of indigenous decent doesnt usyally make you 'indigenous' for the sake of forms, you generally have to identify with your indigenous heritage.

    I havent had your dilemna yet, DP has indigenous heritage, hence the baby I am carrying is of indigenous heritage, but DP doesnt 'identify' as indigenous, he never even knew he was indigenous until this year when i pointed out his bio dads surname as an indigenous name and he asked his bio dad about it!

    But back to the point - i would feel as though i was lying if i ticked 'no' to aboriginality on forms etc for this child, so i understand where you are coming from!


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    I tick yes for some things but leave it blank for education and centrelink because it complicates matters. It's an optional question and I feel the same as you with education. I see the Aboriginal children in our community walking to school in the rain with no warm clothes, no books, no pencils, and often skipping school because they have to care for younger siblings or extended family, or simply cannot get there. I want that reflected in their studies and polls and data collection so the issues can be worked on. Not being skewed by a kid who goes to a private school by car every day, has access to paid help outside of school when needed and has all the supplies needed to get through. Not to mention loads of kids get no breakfast, are lucky to get a vegemite sandwich for lunch and may or may not go to bed hungry. We know this affects concentration. My daughter has a massive breakfast, a full lunch box and a vege packed evening meal. They are worlds apart! But for general data collection or for medical purposes I tick yes.

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    I guess the other thing to consider in terms of education is whether you want your DD to participate in any sort of Indigenous cultural programs they may run at the school. I guess it may be worth discussing with the school.

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    Default Indigenous heritage

    If your daughter is Aboriginal, tick yes.

    I'm a white skinned Aboriginal woman.
    And every bit as Aboriginal as all the other Koorie people I know.

    Surveys and reports will be skewed if you DON'T include her.

    You don't have to be poor to be Aboriginal.
    You just have to BE Aboriginal xo

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