Thrombolites- November 19, 2018
By having a day introducing youth to the land, culture, and other youth, I find that they set up the rest of the week to be welcoming. I especially found it meaningful to connect with other youth, as this was the best way for me to learn.
We began by travelling to Mandurah, which is about and hour outside of Perth. Here, we were welcomed with dances. It warmed my heart to know that the youth were learning these dances and carrying on their traditions. We also learned about the history of the whadjuk. I spent the boat ride comparing my experiences and learning about the experiences of others, on an individual basis. We were also able to try kangaroo, which was really exciting.
After that, it was my favourite part of the day. We learned about thrombolites, which look like rocks, but they are actually living organisms that form over years. They are microbial structures that are found in very few places in the world. The elder, George Walley, showed us around and I talked about the significance of these living beings. They are some of the oldest beings. I compared it to the belief of rocks in turtle island as our grandfathers. The ancestors of these organisms (thrombolites) actually provide oxygen. Therefore, there is a push from both the Indigenous people and the environmentalists. Another youth and I were comparing environmental organizations in Canada and Australia, and it seems that they are just now catching up with what Indigenous people have known for generations.
The connections I made today were great and I am really thankful for this day before the beginning of the conference. It was nice to be part of their “mob”. Culture is Life is the non-profit organization that put it together and when I went to the BBQ we introduced who we were and where we were from, talked about what we were interested in and so on. It was nice to build that connection before we dive into the conference, where sometimes it can be overwhelming, and we formed this community of support.