6 new books to add to your school library in National Reconciliation Week 2023

Education is an important part of reconciliation. Making sure your school community has access to resources that can help them learn about our shared culture and history supports and strengthens our ability to build a better community for all Australians.

To help you expand your library collection to include more new resources about and by First Nations people, here are six resources we’ve catalogued over the last year.

First Knowledges Law: The way of the ancestors

Marcia Langton & Aaron Corn

SCIS number 5448393

Law is culture, and culture is law. Given by the ancestors and cultivated over millennia, Indigenous law defines what it is to be human. Complex and evolving, law holds the keys to creating resilient, caring communities and a life in balance with nature.

Marcia Langton and Aaron Corn show how Indigenous law has enabled people to survive and thrive in Australia for more than 2,000 generations. Nurturing people and places, law is the foundation of all Indigenous societies in Australia, giving them the tools to respond and adapt to major environmental and social changes. But law is not a thing of the past. These living, sophisticated systems are as powerful now as they have ever been, if not more so.

Country tells us when …

Tsheena Cooper, Mary Dann, Dalisa Pigram-Ross & Sheree Ford ; translation by the Mabu Yawuru Ngan-Language Centre

SCIS number 5443458

Some cultures around the world have four seasons that they look out for on a calendar; summer, autumn, winter and spring. The Yawuru mob don’t have four seasons that are told through a calendar. They have six seasons and Country tells the Yawuru people when they have arrived by what can be felt, seen, tasted, smelled and heard.

The Voice to Parliament Handbook: All the detail you need

Thomas Mayo & Kerry O’Brien, cartoons by Cathy Wilcox

SCIS number 5449162

Indigenous leader Thomas Mayo and acclaimed journalist Kerry O’Brien have written this handbook to answer the most commonly asked questions about why the Voice should be enshrined in the Australian Constitution, and how it might function to improve policies affecting Indigenous communities and genuinely close the gap on inequalities at the most basic level of human dignity.

Looking after Country with fire: Aboriginal burning knowledge with Uncle Kuu

Victor Steffensen, illustrations by Sandra Steffensen

SCIS number 5441515

Join Uncle Kuu as he takes us out on Country and explains cultural burning. A timely story of understanding Australia’s ecosystems through Indigenous fire management, and a respectful way forward for future generations to help manage our landscapes.

The Queen is Dead

Stan Grant

SCIS number 5449211

‘History is not weighted on the scales, it is felt in our bones. It is worn on our skin. It is scarred in memory. ‘The Queen reigned for seventy years. She came to the throne at the height of Empire and died with the world at a tipping point.’

What comes next after the death of what Stan Grant calls ‘the last white Queen’? From one of our most respected and award-winning journalists, Stan Grant, The Queen is Dead is a searing, viscerally powerful, emotionally unstoppable, pull-no-punches book on the bitter legacy of colonialism for Indigenous people.

William Cooper: an Aboriginal life story

Bain Attwood

SCIS number 5445080

William Cooper’s passionate struggle against the dispossession of Aboriginal people and the denial of their rights, and his heroic fight for them to become citizens in their own country, has been widely commemorated and celebrated. By carefully reconstructing the historical losses his people suffered and endured, this book reveals how the first 70 years of Cooper’s life inspired the remarkable political work he undertook in the 1930s.

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SCIS (Schools Catalogue Information Service) was created with the aim of providing schools with access to a database of consistent catalogue records created according to agreed national standards, in order to reduce the cost and duplication of effort of cataloguing resources in schools. Since its inception, SCIS has been responsible for improving the quality and consistency of cataloguing materials for schools.

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