Economics and Business

The content descriptor for this learning area in Year 8 encourages exploration of “the traditional markets of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their participation in contemporary markets” (ACARA, 2015). The archive contains stories of interactions with Macassan traders (e.g. Bopani 1988, plus a number of texts with no English translation), which pre-date colonisation. Another story in the archive describes different working arrangements for Indigenous people in the Katherine area, where some worked for white people on banana and peanut farms, and later cattle stations, firstly for rations and later for money: “They didn’t know much about money and they didn’t even know how to spend their money. So when they got their pay they used to save it in a money box made from tin” (Bennett, Brinjen, Brumel & Dalywater, 1994). Other stories describe sharing practices, or cautionary tales about the consequences of not sharing, such as Yambal (1974), and Marika (2011), and even advice about buying a car (Martin et al, 1985). Such stories can be combined with other contemporary stories of Indigenous work practices to flesh out a more complex picture of Indigenous participation in contemporary markets

Taken from Bow, C. (2016). Using authentic language resources to incorporate Indigenous knowledges across the Australian Curriculum. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, 20, 20–39. Available from