This past weekend my classmates and I traveled to Stradbroke Island with our Indigenous Worldviews class. We took the ferry over on Saturday morning and were welcomed with a smoke ritual to cleanse ourselves. We were taught some of the history and customs of the Indigenous people and even got to partake in some of their dances. They taught us how to throw boomerangs and spears and it was really fun! We went on The Gorge walk and got to walk around the edge of part of the island, it was beautiful. At the end, we got to see whales jumping out of the ocean. Click the links above to see some boomerang/spear throwing and didgeridoo playing!
The next day, we created sand art on the beach from our totem groups and worshiped at Brown Lake. Now I know this sounds like a nice weekend getaway, but it was much more than that. Before coming to Australia, I thought the Indigenous people were just an ancient group of people that used to live in Australia, little did I know that I was very wrong. This weekend I was able to live in the culture and experience the pain and hardships the Indigenous people have been facing for years and years. They were nice enough to let us visit sacred grounds and tell us about their ancestors.
The Indigenous people emphasize the importance of country and showed us many new ways to utilize plants and the things on the island. Not only did we get to experience the culture, but we also got to mix our Christian views with it as well. We were lucky enough to see and hear about what it’s like to be a Christian and still hold true to the Indigenous cultural values. I have never experienced anything like this and I will forever hold onto the memories I made this weekend.