The Relationship between Wellbeing and Indigenous Land, Language and Culture in Australia

Nicholas Biddle*, Hannah Swee

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    78 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A consistent finding in the literature on Indigenous peoples is the importance of the sustainability of land, language and culture. All three are related, with the maintenance of one helping to protect the others. This paper uses a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey of the Indigenous Australian population to look at the factors associated with individual measures of sustainability. Geography matters for those in remote areas who are much more likely to have participated in hunting, fishing and gathering than those in non-remote areas and somewhat more likely to be learning an Indigenous language. However, those in remote areas are somewhat less likely to have participated in Indigenous cultural production. Participation in the mainstream economy is not necessarily a barrier to these aspects of wellbeing as those with high levels of formal education were more likely to speak, understand or be learning an Indigenous language. While important in their own right, such aspects of sustainability also have the potential to directly contribute to narrower measures of social and emotional wellbeing. A positive relationship was found between the sustainability of Indigenous land, language and culture and an Indigenous person's subjective emotional wellbeing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)215-232
    Number of pages18
    JournalAustralian Geographer
    Volume43
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

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