Indi Kindi participate in Sharing the Seeds Women’s Camp
July 16, 2021
Indi Kindi was proud to work with Telling Story and Li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Ranger Unit to facilitate an intergenerational women’s camp on Country.
The Sharing the Seeds Camp followed on from the Tree of Life project in 2020 which aimed to share the wisdom of local Aboriginal women on parenting skills, knowledges, beliefs and abilities to grow their children up strong.
The Sharing the Seeds Camp was held over four days and three nights. The first night was at the Sea Rangers Camp at Jawuma (Black Rock Landing) near King Ash Bay, 45kms North East of Borroloola in the Northern Territory. The following morning three vessels completed the journey to Centre Island for two nights before returning to Borroloola.
Sudha Coutinho and Lucy Van Sambeek, facilitators from Telling Story supported the women, including students from Borroloola High School in yarning, unearthing and sharing stories of strength, resilience and hope.
Indi Kindi staff supported the facilitators by introducing sections of the Tree of Life. They were also available to provide translation as required and acted as cultural mentors for the facilitators.
A Tree of Life banner was created throughout the workshop sessions which acted as a visual collective document and testimony to the stories shared. In between sessions, women would sit and add to the tree or read what others had written and reflect, acting as outside witnesses to the documented stories.
The Tree of Life banner evolved into a rich tapestry of wisdom, skills and know-hows, and documented the many conversations which were shared about growing up strong families.
This visual collective document is now displayed in the Mabunji Women’s Safe House in Borroloola. Women of all ages are able access the safe house for multiple reasons including as a place of safety, workshop space, for health screening and women yarning. The Mabunji Safe House staff are also familiar with the Tree of Life process so are able to extend the conversations with those who view the banner.
Centre Island is culturally significant to many of the women involved in the Sharing the Seeds Camp, however very few of them had actually been to the island. Many of them knew stories about the island, had knowledge about the plants, and the spirits.
Being on Country enabled opportunities for sharing of practical skills and knowledges between participants, such as catching and cooking fish, throwing a net for bait, making a spear for crabbing, and sharing of bush knowledge, stories, dance and song.
A written collective ebook was created of the women’s shared stories of their strengths, skills and knowledges that help them weather the storms of life.