Portraits From a Land Without People
Is That You Ruthie?
Heartsick for Country
The Streets of Papunya
What is Aboriginal art?
Business and Economy (5)
Aboriginal Business: Alliances in a Remote Australian Town
Engaging Indigenous Economy
How to Start a Successful Aboriginal Business in Australia
Aboriginal Economy and Society
Bangu the Flying Fox
Fog a Dox
Good Morning, Mr Sarra
Fiction, Novels (55)
Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms
The Window Seat And Other Stories
The Blue-Eyed Aborigine
The Oldest Foods on Earth
Coo-ee Cuisine Bush Food Cookbook
Indigenous Australia and Alcohol Policy
Healers of Arnhem Land
Possession: Settlers, Aborigines and Land in Australia
The Power of Bones
Humour, Cartoons (2)
Shipwreck, Sailors and 60,000 Years
Treading Lightly: The Hidden Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People
Discovering Aboriginal Plant Use
Overturning aqua nullius: Securing Aboriginal water rights
What Do We Want? A Political History of Aboriginal Land Rights in NSW
The Australian National Dictionary
Aboriginal Australia Wall Map
Aboriginal ways of using English
Sign Languages of Aboriginal Australia
Law & Justice (4)
Indigenous People, Crime and Punishment
Arresting Incarceration: Pathways out of Indigenous Imprisonment
The Law of the Land
Gone for a Song: Death and Desperation in the Deep North
Singing the Coast
Paddy’s Road: Life Stories of Patrick Dodson
Riding The Black Cockatoo
Ray: Stories of My Life
Illicit Love: Interracial Sex and Marriage in the United States and Australia
Personal Reports and Experiences (46)
Living with the Locals
Of Ashes and Rivers That Flow to the Sea
I’m Not Racist But…
Seven Seasons in Aurukun
Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters
The Intervention: An anthology
In the Absence of Treaty
The Politics of Suffering: Indigenous Australia and the End of the Liberal Consensus
Spirituality & Poetry (13)
White Christ Black Cross
Lemons in the Chicken Wire
The Lamb Enters the Dreaming
Brotherboys: The Story of Jim and Phillip Krakouer
Black and Proud
Legends - The AFL Indigenous Team of the Century 1905-2005
Black and Proud: The Story of an Iconic AFL Photo
Textbooks, Teaching, Studies (47)
Australian Cinema After Mabo
A Decision to Discriminate: Aboriginal Disempowerment in the Northern Territory
The Little Red Yellow Black Book
Aboriginal Australia and the Torres Strait Islands
The Melbourne Dreaming
Are textbooks still useful?
Teaching has come a long way from purely textbook-based to spanning text, video, audio and games. With students’ attention spans decreasing and information breaking down into smaller bite sizes teachers are questioning the usefulness of books at school.
Textbooks still have a few advantages:
- Good for novice teachers. Beginning teachers can benefit from a detailed outline of the material to be covered and the design of each lesson.
- Organised units of work. A textbook gives you all the plans and lessons you need to cover a topic in some detail.
- Structured information. Books provide you with a chronological presentation of information. They usually contain a detailed sequence of teaching procedures that tell you what to do and when to do it.
Good textbooks are excellent teaching aids. They’re a resource for both teachers and students.
Some teachers found that students are not motivated to read textbooks. They have had success with phasing out books and replacing them with practical exercises that are relevant to their students’ daily life experiences.
It is probably good to not use textbooks as the only resource for students. Use it as a guide, not a mandate and be free to modify, change, eliminate, or add to the material in the textbook using videos, films, music and interactive materials.
Choosing an Aboriginal textbook
In my opinion there is nothing better than learning directly from Aboriginal authors. I have witnessed their pain and suffering, their resilience and creativity as well as their joy and community by reading first-hand accounts of their lives. For this reason I have marked the author’s heritage accordingly for all books listed on CreativeSpirits.info.
Be careful with books by non-Aboriginal authors. Do they have an agenda? Are they based on myths or old colonial ideas? Are they painting Aboriginal culture only in a positive, glorifying light?
Even contemporary curriculum-approved books can get it wrong and teach “seasons and animals” followed directly by “Aboriginal seasons”, perpetuating the idea that Aboriginal people are somehow linked to flora and fauna.
It might be a good idea to talk to Aboriginal teachers to learn about their perspective and check if they have recommendations.
Finding a book
I’ve tried to help you find the book you are after with the following resources:
For the latest book releases on Aboriginal Australia shop securely in my Aboriginal Book Store.
The Australian National University has studies on particular themes or regions, or a series of articles on single subjects of contemporary Indigenous topics offered as free Indigenous books for download. The Digital Book Index also keeps a list of free Aboriginal books.
Can’t find your favourite Aboriginal books?
Try a search at Fishpond, Australia’s largest supplier, cheaper than Amazon.
Or search a list of Aboriginal books from the Aboriginal Studies Press on Fishpond.
Aboriginal book publishers
- Black Ink Press (Townsville, Queensland)
- Magabala Books (Broome, Northern Territory)
- IAD Press (Alice Springs, Northern Territory)
- Aboriginal Studies Press (Canberra, Australian Captial Territory)
- Keeaira Press (Southport, Queensland)
- JB Books (Marleston, South Australia)
- Budburra Books (Murgon, Queensland)
Books for the Australian Curriculum
If you are looking for books about Aboriginal history and culture for the Australian Curriculum check out Booktopia's collection of textbooks.
Amazon offers a number of educational teaching books.
Magabala Books offers teacher's notes to some of its children's books.