ANTH 3001C Week 2 Indigenous Peoples in the Modern World

ANTH 3001C Week 2 Indigenous Peoples in the Modern World

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

The term Indigenous peoples have been in use for a considerable period, and to this day, a precise definition for this group remains elusive. Often, when people think of indigenous populations, they primarily consider Native Americans. In my understanding, Indigenous peoples possess their own language, culture, monetary system, and tribal heritage. They lived on ancestral lands, following inherited beliefs and practices that predated colonization.

The Indigenous group I have chosen to focus on is the Aboriginal Australians. 

According to a 2006 survey, it was estimated that 90% of the population had Aboriginal origins, while 6% had Torres Strait Islander origins (Dudgeon et al., 2010). One reason why this group is considered indigenous is the extensive duration of their presence in Australia. Aboriginal people have inhabited the continent for between 50,000 and 120,000 years. When Australia was colonized in 1788, it was home to approximately 300,000 Aboriginal people (Dudgeon et al., 2010). 

ANTH 3001C Week 2 Indigenous Peoples in the Modern World

The presence of distinct languages, cultures, and beliefs further solidifies their indigenous classification. Aboriginal communities boasted around 260 languages and 500 dialects. They maintained unique cultural practices, with family associations based on birthright, shared language, and cultural obligations (Dudgeon et al., 2010). 

The Aboriginal people held a deep reverence for their land and shared a spiritual connection with it. The value they placed on the land was not merely based on its size but on the spiritual connection, it held with their ancestors. Indigenous peoples are known for their resourcefulness in utilizing and respecting the lands they inhabit. Although there is no definitive definition for indigenous peoples, the Aboriginals of Australia undeniably possess many of the characteristics that qualify them for this classification.


Facts & Stats. (n.d.). Retrieved June 30, 2020, from

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