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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Race, culture, indigeneity and the politics of disadvantage



Indigenous affairs presents a complex and challenging work environment. Most non-Indigenous people working in Indigenous affairs hope to empower Indigenous communities to solve their own problems. However, they often worry they may be imposing solutions on communities and repeating the mistakes of the past.

Cultural competence courses offer non-Indigenous people a way to resolve these fears, but these courses can sometimes cause as many problems as they solve. Rather than focusing on Indigenous culture, this course aims to change the way participants think about Indigenous affairs.

Drawing on scholarship from a range of disciplines, the course explores how cultural and racial identities are formed and how knowledge about Indigenous disadvantage is constructed over time. These skills are the building blocks of reflexive anti-racism.

Using interactive exercises, case studies and small group work, theories and debates are illustrated with real-life problems and a variety of print and electronic resources. Through building reflexive anti-racism, non-Indigenous people can more effectively promote positive change in Indigenous affairs.

This course has been designed as a professional development activity for those in research, policy or service delivery roles within Indigenous health, social work, education, community development and related areas.




Last updated: 16 January 2014
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