Last night the fire was roaring as we kicked off our Night by the fire: Remains and repatriation series with Dale Kerwin giving us a researcher’s perspective on such an important topic.
It was great to see such vibrant and diverse conversation among the group! The audience quickly got involved in the conversation after Dale provided some stats, stories and other information surrounding remains still held in institutions in Australia and overseas. Many were shocked to hear some of the ways (often not so nice ways) that these remains were obtained by institutions. A pull on the heart strings to say the least, but it didn’t dampen the mood as the discussions plunged on.
It was fascinating to hear about some of the different burial practices from Aboriginal nations. Dale shared that in his nation, the Woorimi people, it is tradition to skin their deceased. In other nation’s however bones are held in higher regard and are carried by family members for a period of time before being laid to rest.
As the fire died down the discussion was still hot as we went over our designated time with questions being fired left and right. We were privileged to have some wise, heart felt words from our Elders present and youthful voices accompanying Dale to wrap up the evening.
Needless to say it was an exciting introduction to this 4 part series and we cannot wait till the next one with Uncle Bob Weatherall. Seats are going fast so make sure you book your spot next to the fire.