Jump to content

Proving indigineous heritage just because.


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

My great grandmother was Aboriginal.  I have known for a long time, but out of respect for my grandmother, I wasn't able to do anything about obtaining proof.  She passed away about 18 months ago so I feel I am able to follow it through now.  

The problem is the process that I need to go through.  I understand why it is the way it is, but I really don't want to claim any benefits from it, I don't need to.  I just want to be able to tick the box on forms when it asks.  Again, not for any benefit, I have no interest in claiming anything, but it still feels wrong ticking it because I don't have a piece of paper that says I can, so I don't.

I do fit the first two criteria of identification, but don't see the point of going through with the third as I don't need the piece of paper to know my heritage.  As I said I just want to tick the right box - obviously this is just a representation of my need to identify publicly, I am not having a tanti over not being able to tick the box.

There is a very strong family resemblance to my great grandmother in many of my extended family members, also in my eldest son.  He is fair skinned but to look at him you can see the resemblance very clearly.  Not that it matters what he looks like, but both my kids know of their heritage, are proud of it and often tell people when discussions come up about indigenous people, like in class, but they are never believed.  

I know they are a very small percentage, but it is important to them.  When DS 2 first started school, they had a performance by some indigenous people.  During it, they called DS 2 up to be a part of it.  After the performance, during recess, the people made themselves available to the kids for questions etc.  I was with DS 2 chatting to a lady and I mentioned that DS 2 had indigenous heritage and she said she knew!  I was of course taken aback as he has no resemblance at all physically.  She said she just knew and she felt it so that is why she picked him out of the crowd.  She said he had an old soul and various other things which were very accurate about his personality etc.   To this day I haven't forgotten that encounter.  He also really identifies with one of my cousins who has been recognised , they talk about spiritual things and are very much on the same wave length.  

So, I don't really know why I have written all this.  I guess I am just frustrated that I have to have a piece of paper to rightfully say that I am of Aboriginal descent.  I know I am, I don't want anything from it, other than to be able to say it without being questioned or for people to assume I want something from it.

Edited by yabbadabbadoo, 04 February 2013 - 01:18 PM.


#2 MissingInAction

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

Sorry, I feel like i need more info.  What's the criteria for identification?

#3 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:26 PM

These are the criteria for proof

-being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent

-identifying as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

-being accepted as such by the community in which you live, or formally lived

#4 Marchioness Flea

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

I'm not sure why you need a paper though.
You say you need it to rightfully claim that you are of Aboriginal descent, but what's stopping you from claiming it?
I don't fully understand why the paper is so necessary. Why can't you just say you are of aboriginal descent?
If you don't want to claim anything and you don't want people to assume you want something from it, WHY do you need the paper?
Don't you know the truth already? Does it matter what anyone else thinks?
I don't quite understand the angst.
As MIA said, what is the 3rd criteria needed anyway? Birth certificates?

#5 Le-a

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:29 PM

I get where you're coming from. My heritage is important to me.  

I know nothing of the process involved with getting recognized, but It sounds like something very important to you and your children and your extended family. If I were in your shoes, I would persue it.

Which reminds me, I must get on to the Swiss consulate and register my marriage and my sons birth! It's only been three years!

All the best, I hope it's not too challenging for you, emotionally and practically.

#6 FeralCrazyMum

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

I thought that unless you wanted to access services that are reserved for Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander people, you were able to tick the box.

A friend of mine has Aboriginal heritage, although she's not listed anywhere as Aboriginal, her children are regularly included in school activities reserved for indigenous people.

To PP,
The criteria for identification is as follows:
Visit My Website

I used to work in an Aboriginal Land Office and one of the standard items on the monthly board agenda was the Confirmations of Aboriginality.


#7 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

Jenflea, not sure why all the angst.  Maybe because it was always so hush hush in our family, so I feel like I have been lying all these years by not putting it out there on any form I have filled in, not even on the census or school enrolment papers.  Maybe not a biggie to some, but I have an over active conscience which does occasionally prevent me from seeing things logically or without 'angst'.

Edited by yabbadabbadoo, 04 February 2013 - 01:33 PM.


#8 meljbau

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:37 PM

QUOTE (yabbadabbadoo @ 04/02/2013, 02:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So, I don't really know why I have written all this.  I guess I am just frustrated that I have to have a piece of paper to rightfully say that I am of Aboriginal descent.  I know I am, I don't want anything from it, other than to be able to say it without being questioned or for people to assume I want something from it.


I understand how you feel. My DH has been trying to find out about his grandfather too and some people have asked us why we want to know. I guess the same reason most people want to know about their heritage. My DH's grandfather was placed in an orphanage at 5, but the paperwork says his mother was still alive. There are few details on his placement papers unlike most of the other paperwork at the orphanage in his era. We do know his surname and it is the same as a well known aboriginal family in the western district. When he was 10 he was sent from the home to work as a farm boy. All the other boys went down to the western district but he and one other were sent to the north of the state. We wonder if that was to keep him away from his extended family. It is very hard to trace any details as he never had a birth certificate. I've contacted the local aboriginal co-op but the person who held some family records was on sorry business and I haven't followed up.

I hope things work out for you, OP

#9 Mummy Em

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:38 PM

I think you (and your son particularly) will get more out of the process of fullfilling that third part of the process than just the piece of paper saying you are of aboriginal decent. Why not look into getting in contact with other relatives of your grandmother's?

I agree with you, I think it is really important that we have statistics on people who have lost touch with their aboriginal heritage, often not through their own choice.

#10 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:45 PM

Thanks to those who understand where I am coming from.  It has really resonated with me today because their was a Welcome to Country ceremony at school this morning to start the year.  I was one of few parents who attended and I know that DS 2 in particular would have felt very strongly about it but not really been able to say anything about it.  If he tried to tell his new teacher he probably wouldn't have really acknowledged it.  According to our school records there are no students of Aboriginal descent, so nobody would have had a clue that it meant anything to my DS's.  The lady talked a lot about family heritage and how much it means, so just really sank in today, that's all.



#11 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

Mummy Em, quite a few of my cousins have formal identification, one has even been and stayed with people from where we originated.  That is the one that DS really connects with.  They are all willing to give me the relevant paperwork and I know I should do it, it is just frustrating when people assume you are going to start looking for handouts.

#12 Gudrun

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

If you identify I would think it would be important to tick boxes.  

I guess there could be bureaucratic responses to that in some instances.  But you could deal in any way you want.

You might want to consider that formal recognition might be helpful for your descendants for whatever reason.

There is nothing uncommon about your situation.  It sounds like you have family you can talk to about this.   If not I'd drop in to your nearest Aboriginal organisation eg Aboriginal Legal Service and have a bit of a chat.

#13 laridae

Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

You can tick the box.  Is basically the second criterion - self identifying that you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait descent.
If you want to use the services/get benefits etc you would need to do the 3rd step. ie get accepted by the community.  But if you've not had anything to do with it thus far, that may be difficult.

#14 Feral_Pooks

Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:08 PM

I understand OP. I have Koori ancestry but I don't identify with the community, because of the Stolen Generations being very effective I suppose. The only 'mention' of it when I was a child, was my grandmother being very disapproving of my olive toned skin and advising me to stay out of the sun like she does, or else 'she looks like a n-word...'. I know, through talking to other people who have been through the process you are considering, that making claim to that ancestry can feel very healing, like undoing a wrong. Since it was government that often was responsible for dividing families and breaking that connection to culture, there is something satisfying about having the government acknowledge your aboriginality. I wish you all the best in finding the right answer for you and your family.

#15 beaglebaby

Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:08 PM

I say go for it, don't worry about what other people think, you and your children know that you are only doing it to be true to yourself and to honour your family and your heritage.

#16 Zanbam

Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:33 PM

I really feel for you OP.

Identification is a very sensitive and highly conflicted subject for many Aboriginal people for two reasons (I am not saying the first applies to you I'm am just trying to explain the sensitivities and fears).

1. Many people that have been raised in an Aboriginal community and faced discrimination and hardship due to their Aboriginality feel it is wrong for people whose family have always denied their Aboriginality and who haven't been raised 'on country' to claim it, as there is a fear that university scholarships and positions identified for Aboriginal people will go to those who are looking for a free education or entry into a position and they will have an unfair advantage, this isn't an irrational fear but I am not saying this is why you are seeking it.

2. It is recognised that through no fault of their own people were denied access to their families, their culture and their country. This was done by the State under the guise of assimilation and it has had ongoing and highly distressing consequences for all Aboriginal people. It is understood (and greived by many Aboriginal people) that there are many Aboriginal people like you and your son that have been denied your heritage but feel a real and strong connection and don't want it denied anymore.and there are ways that you can research your family which may help.

I don't know which State you are in but in NSW the Family Records Unit in Aboriginal Affairs may be able to help (sorry, can't include the link for some reason but google it and it comes up). You may come up against resistance from your local land council if you go down that path due to a perceived threat (whether imagined or not) to resources reserved for Aboriginal people but if for your own peace of mind and knowledge for your children I think it is something that is very worthwhile to find out about.







#17 Fr0g

Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:31 PM

QUOTE (laridae @ 04/02/2013, 02:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You can tick the box.  Is basically the second criterion - self identifying that you are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait descent.
If you want to use the services/get benefits etc you would need to do the 3rd step. ie get accepted by the community.  But if you've not had anything to do with it thus far, that may be difficult.


Having official confirmation of Aboriginality can be done without necessarily identifying with local communities. In SA, Nunkuwarrin Yunti confirm the process - the application is a one page sheet, asking for maternal/ paternal heritage and the community the applicant knows/ believes their ancestors lived in. I have submitted requests for confirmation for clients of mine. It is a lengthy process.

If you identify with your Aboriginality, I say go for it. You don't need a reason and you certainly don't have to justify why.

Good luck.

#18 FeralAlpacasFool

Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:45 PM

OP my mum was recognized by Link Up Qld and that is enough for us all to tick the Aboriginal box on forms.

#19 laridae

Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:58 PM

QUOTE (myfamilyrocks @ 04/02/2013, 03:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For instance, at school I feel it's better not to because, although we acknowledge traditional leaders and teachings, it feels like we are taking something away from the Indigenous children at this school. .... For some reason I see the Aboriginal and Islander children struggling at school and wonder if it would take away more of the funding allocated to these children if my child, who has a distinct advantage, comes along and is part of their stats. The staff are aware of her heritage so for cultural purposes that has been acknowledged within the school. I'd like to not sway the numbers unfairly.


I know at public schools in my state (because I was on a project to implement the software to do it), that people can tick the box, but it still needs to be verified before they can count it officially (so, there is a box to record that they self-identify, and another one that they are verified).

#20 Lim Lam

Posted 04 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

I didnt find out until I was 13 that my 'Dad' was actually my step dad and that my bio dad is aboriginal. After meeting him and all my extended family i mow idetify myself as aboriginal. I obtained the Certification of Aboriginality because my paternal grandmother wanted me recognised in her family..
I grew up in the town where all her and her family live and they watched me grow up without never telling the secret my mum and bio dad made.
I am proud to know my heritage and identify feely as aboriginal, as do my children. I have always had an affinity with aboriginal people and my 2 best friends are aboriginal, although they are very dark and I am light with blue eyes and blonde hair lol.
We do get the occasional extra handout, but only when its something essential and as a single mum of 4 its usually the only way to get certain assistance.

eg My son wants to study at Tafe, Fees $600, Plus full PPS gear $250, Books $150, impossible for me to pay when I can barely buy food sometimes. (last week was $96 on food or 5 people cause thats all I had after paying rent and bills.) And I only work 20hrs a week, and am about to start studying as well myself.
Went to see the aboriginal liason officer and my son is now fully enrolled and kitted out with all his books and safety gear. If he doesnt finish the coure and graduate, I will become liable for these expenses. But for this assistance he wouldnt have been able to enro. Now he has a chance to do what he wants to as his life career, Heavy Duty Diesel Mechanic.

Edited by niknok, 04 February 2013 - 04:37 PM.


#21 Nofliesonme

Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:05 PM

I don't have a piece of paper because I am so far removed from my mother that no one would accept me, I was raised in a white society so to speak and am distanced from my mums side. I just tick that I identify....I don't see how I will ever be accepted as aboriginal decent because of this. Anyone ideas?

Edited by thunda, 04 February 2013 - 05:07 PM.


#22 Super Cat

Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:27 PM

You don't need the certificate to tick the box. You only need it if you're challenged on your Indigenous heritage. Even then that's only relevant if you're claiming a service specifically for Indigenous people. For example if you want it noted on your child's medical records that he is Indigenous you simply tick the box. Same for school enrolment. If your school has say, a breakfast program specifically for Indigenous children you're entitled to use it but if you're challenged you'll need to provide the certificate.

Remember too that Indigenous  people are often under represented in the population because many choose not to identify for various reasons. By ticking the box you're actually helping to show a more realistic representation of the true Indigenous population.

#23 slinky

Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:48 PM

OP I haven read the replies but I am in a similar situation. I do not idetify as Aboriginal but my husband was adopted and has aboriginal heritage. He is unsure of the exact details and doesn't want to find his birthparents but would like to know more about his Aboriginality. Ever since my chldren were born I have ticked the box. We have never "got" anything from it (discouts payment and entitlements I am not sure if there are any) I have just did it to make it easier for my children, when they are older, to idtenify.
My husband would love to be acknowleged as Aborginal but without finding his birth parents it's nigh on impossible.


#24 Zanbam

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:38 AM

QUOTE (Super Cat @ 04/02/2013, 06:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You don't need the certificate to tick the box. You only need it if you're challenged on your Indigenous heritage. Even then that's only relevant if you're claiming a service specifically for Indigenous people. For example if you want it noted on your child's medical records that he is Indigenous you simply tick the box. Same for school enrolment. If your school has say, a breakfast program specifically for Indigenous children you're entitled to use it but if you're challenged you'll need to provide the certificate.

Remember too that Indigenous  people are often under represented in the population because many choose not to identify for various reasons. By ticking the box you're actually helping to show a more realistic representation of the true Indigenous population.


This is a very good point Super Cat.

#25 pickledbrain

Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:52 AM

There is no such thing as "part" aboriginal.  You either identify as aboriginal or you don't.  It doesn't matter where the ancestor is in your family, if it makes up a part of your genetic makeup and you identify as aboriginal, then you are.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

5 workplace lessons for new parents

Take heart in these principles that will transfer seamlessly from the workplace into your new life as a parent.

Review: The Volvo 2015 XC90 SUV has all the safety features your family needs

The new Volvo XC90 SUV's focus on keeping you safe does not come at the expense of comfort in the XC90.

Kim Kardashian reveals she may have hysterectomy

Kim Kardashian has revealed complications during pregnancy means she might have to have a hysterectomy after the birth of her second child.

Why late night snacks wreak havoc on weight loss

 Loath as you may be to admit it, chances are that at some point you have found yourself in the kitchen late at night, devouring food.

Toddler twins pretend to be asleep to fool mum

They say twins have a unique connection. If this cute clip is anything to go by, these toddler sisters like to use their special bond to try to fool their mother.

Dads who do their share have more sex: study

For women trying to encourage their partners to take more interest in fatherhood, it could be the ultimate incentive.

Think you might have IBS, coeliac disease or Crohn's? Here's what you need to know

Conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract are common in modern humans, and many are on the rise - including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and coeliac disease.

Couple poses for newborn shoot with adorable puppy

Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer.

Win a Mountain Buggy Swift

To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.

When your toddler disagrees

There comes a time when your child starts having different views to you. I didn't realise that time would come so soon.

The exercises you know you should be doing (but probably aren't)

I bet your to-do list today is long. But somewhere on that massive list, are you making time for your pelvic floor?

How did we have babies before apps came along?

Three months ago, my wife, Chrysta, and I were driving along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles when she let out a harrowing cry.

This baby really loves the family cat

Some babies get excited when mum or dad come to get them from their cot after a nap.

Woman gives birth after having her own mother's uterus transplanted

In a world first, a healthy baby has been born from the same womb that nurtured his own mother.

Home brand foods contain less salt than pricier rivals

Supermarket home brand foods, long derided as cheap and inferior, contain far lower levels of salt than pricier, branded rivals, new research shows.

Early exposure to peanuts recommended for allergy prevention

A paediatricians' group is recommending that infants at high risk of peanut allergies be given foods containing peanuts before they turn one.

Nannies for hire, wherever you're flying

Ever dreaded the prospect of a long flight, dreaming about how wonderful it would be for a nanny to entertain the kids?

Is it okay to name your baby with a sense of humour?

My husband was sure that Danger was a good option for a boy. And as the pregnancy progressed, it actually started to sound really good.

So hot right now: double-barrelled baby names on the rise

It's one way to make your baby stand out from the pack – giving them not one, but two first names.

Second time around: is it really better the devil you know?

When I fell pregnant with my second child I was, naturally, very excited. Then it all started to come back to me - and I freaked.

Shopping with kids: breaking the pester-power cycle

You're out shopping with your little one and they're incessantly whining that they want a treat. It's easy to say no ... the first time, at least.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The worst 20 minutes of my life

Thirty seconds was all it took to turn a shopping trip into my worst nightmare.

Top baby names for England and Wales in 2014

George has overtaken William in the official rankings of most popular British baby names - and Game of Thrones is still having an impact on parents.

Baseball or baby? Dad's tough choice

What's more important, a baby or a baseball? That's a question this dad seems to struggle with.

Childbirth choices: five star or free?

It's not often you hear the words labour and luxury in the same sentence but for some, a 5-star start to parenthood is exactly what they seek. And with a number of private hospitals now offering packages which include a post-birth stay at a sumptuous first class resort, many mums are choosing to recover in style.

'Where did your boobies go, Mummy?' and other soul-destroying comments from kids

Most women carry a smidge of baby weight after giving birth. If you're lucky enough to have an older child in the house, they can keep you on track with your weight loss goals.

Do you read me, baby?

Is it too soon to be reading to my two-month-old son? If not, what should I read?

Minimising sibling rivalry when you've got a baby

Sibling rivalry is an act of competition, but if your children feel involved and special, this type of jealousy will be minimised.

Will studying on maternity leave take you away from your most important job?

I remember when I was trying to decide if I could combine motherhood and furthering my university education.

Win a Pacapod this Father's Day

To celebrate dads and families, we are giving away a Picos Pack from Pacapod Australia filled with a few extra goodies ENTER NOW

Preschooler hit by car shortly after baby brother's death

A mother has had a frantic race to the hospital after her daughter was hit by a car, just four weeks after her infant son died.

Gay couple and Thai surrogate in custody tug-of-war

A six-month-old baby girl is trapped in the Thai capital in a bitter custody wrangle between her Thai surrogate mother and her biological father.

Couple denied IVF over parenting concerns

A mother of six has been denied access to IVF treatment in order to have another child over concerns about her parenting skills.

The book that promises to put your children to sleep

Exhausted parents from around the world are singing the praises of a "miracle" book which promises to put even the most restless child to sleep in just minutes.

5 things every parent who feels guilty needs to know

Parenthood can make you feel bad, but you're not alone.

Royals criticise 'dangerous' attempts to photograph Prince George

The British royal family criticized paparazzi on Friday for what it called their increasingly dangerous attempts to photograph young Prince George.

'No jab, no play' rule to cover Victorian kindergartens and childcare centres

"Anti-vaxxers" face not being able to send their children to childcare centres or kindergarten if they refuse to have them immunised.

15,000 birthing kits on their way to developing countries

Giving birth in a hospital surrounded by medical experts is tough enough, but some women deliver babies without a clean sheet to lie on.

Photo of premmie 'too graphic', fundraising site says

When their son Jacob was born at just 27 weeks, Christina and Jeff Hinks were thrown into an uncertain world.

The latest Bugaboo collections: cool chevron and runner prams

Bugaboo sure likes to keep things fresh, and with the Australian spring/summer season coming up, there are two new Bugaboo pram releases.

Making room for two in the bed

Mum's room or their own room? Cot or bassinets? Deciding where twins will sleep can be tricky.

 

FREE TICKET

See Hi-5 LIVE in Sydney!

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.