ARMIDALE celebrated its first people on Friday at A Day in the Dale.
Aboriginals, Torres Strait Islanders and Armidale locals came together to march down the main street in support of Anaiwan and Gumbaynggirr culture.
Event organiser and Armidale Regional Council Aboriginal Community Development Officer Cyril Green said it was important to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Aboriginal people.
“It’s very important to acknowledge the culture of the Aboriginal people in this area,” he said.
The theme this year was The Living Narrative of Our Nation and it highlighted the importance of song and the Dreamtime as a time when Earth was created by ancestral beings.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people tell the stories of the Dreamtime when beings created rivers, lakes, land formations, plants and animals.
Armidale Regional Council Administrator Dr Ian Tiley gave a speech at the event and said it was a pleasure to be a part of the NAIDOC Week celebrations.
“NAIDOC Week plays an important role in bringing our community together to learn more about the oldest living, continuing culture on the planet.
It’s important for all Australians to learn, share and participate in NAIDOC Week activities.
We as a nation are enriched by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples connection to country, and their generosity in sharing their sacred stories and ceremonies that have been maintained for tens of thousands of years,” he said.
Anaiwan Elder Lorna Hague said the day was extremely important to her community.
“It’s very important, it brings all the children together and they are the future, black and white.
It’s very important to build up the inter-cultural relationship with the wider community," she said.
The celebrations included a flag-raising ceremony followed by a morning tea with Elders.
Children then went to the Armidale Showground for a day of traditional games, performances by local school groups and Terra Firma, and face painting.
The Indigenous Anaiwan and Gumbaynggirr people hunted, gathered and shared stories on the Northern Tablelands for thousands of years prior to the arrival of British colonialists.
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