Exploring the future of Indigenous family history research

Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Presenter/s: 
Kayannie Denigan
Narelle Rivers
PJ Williams
Erin Vink

The AIATSIS Family History Unit will discuss the changing landscape of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family history research. Focusing on the past, present and future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family history research, the presentation will detail why records on Indigenous people were created, how they are currently used and what’s next. The unit will provide an overview of the ‘protection’ acts that existed across Australia, the impact of these policies and the challenges of gaining useful family history information from government, church and private records. Understanding these past practices will allow a greater appreciation of why it can still be challenging to locate or access information, including for native title purposes. The unit will discuss the future challenges, including changing technologies, practices and priorities for archives and record holders. Accessing family history information can be an important but difficult process for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and this presentation will provide an overview of why these difficulties exist as well as what the future of family history research might hold.