WATCH: Elder tells of Northern Rivers massacres

THE BRUTAL history of massacres of Aboriginal people on the Northern Rivers brought some audience members to tears at a NAIDOC event held on Saturday at Lismore City Hall.

After the documentary Babe in the Reeds was shown, narrator Lois Cook estimated in eight massacres 10,000 aboriginal people were "exterminated" with guns, machetes and arsenic- poisoned flour, from 1854.

Documented killings were at Patches Beach, South Ballina, Whites Beach, Tallows Creek, Wardell, Broadwater, and Black Rock - named after the women and children "forced" over its edge.

Q & A audience members thanked the Nyangbul woman for her 2014 investigation, expressed sadness at the systematic killings, and asked where other massacres may have taken place.

At the end of her talk, Ms Cook called on indigenous people to "return to country" to continue the traditional stories of the land, in existence before the massacres.

"Embody country, embody your history, your songs, your dances," she said.

"Honour your culture because a lot of our history is on paper, but our people have to learn from their elders in a more natural way."

Shanaya Turner-King, Darren Compton and Jacqui Cornforth, founders of dance group Muggera Dancers, Braeden Williams, Brandon Jones, Janay Wilson, Jahna Lugnan, took part in the kids' dance workshop at NAIDOC week celebrations on Saturday, July 8, Lismore City Hall.
Shanaya Turner-King, Darren Compton and Jacqui Cornforth, founders of dance group Muggera Dancers, Braeden Williams, Brandon Jones, Janay Wilson, Jahna Lugnan, took part in the kids' dance workshop at NAIDOC week celebrations on Saturday, July 8, Lismore City Hall. alina rylko

 

Also on Saturday, three Move It Mob Style dance workshops by Muggera dance company founders Darren Compton and Jacqui Cornforth.

A descendent of Bundjalung, Mr Compton lived in Tweed Heads before moving to Sydney, where Muggera dance is based to regularly perform at places like the Sydney Opera House and Stadium Australia.

The duo showed traditional dance moves to children in the sand circle, also used the previous night for a traditional opening ceremony.

The weaving display attracted the curiosity of Southern Cross University Japanese international students, Tsumino Inaba and Mitsumi Funabasha.

Weaving her cane 'fish' decoration, Ms Inaba said: "this was the first time we have sat with Aboriginal women and it was great".



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