The Language from the Hunter River and Lake Macquarie (HRLM)


The Language from the Hunter River and Lake Macquarie (HRLM) was spoken by the people now known as Awabakal, Wonnarua, Kuringgai, and most likely Geawegal. Geawegal and Wonnarua share section names with Darkinyung and Gamilaraay.

Traditional Country

While it is impossible to put precise boundaries on language groups, we can speak generally. This language was spoken from Brisbane Waters in the south to Newcastle in the north, and extending west to Singleton and as far as Muswellbrook. It is likely that there were dialectal differences within such a large region.

Language Details

HRLM belongs to the Pama-Nyungan family of Australia languages. It is one of 35 languages once spoken in the area now known as NSW. HRLM has a rich collection of historical sources, the most important being the grammar and wordlist published by Threlkeld in 1834. During the 1800s Aboriginal peoples across NSW bore the brunt of European invasion, and their languages were an early casualty, with the active suppression of languages and the emergence of English as a common language between the different language groups. HRLM was the first Aboriginal language to be formally taught to a non-Aboriginal person, by Biraban, also known by his English name of John McGill, to the Rev. Lancelot Threlkeld, a missionary at Lake Macquarie, between 1824 and 1850. Biraban’s teachings form the basis of the grammar published by Muurrbay in 2006. Threlkeld called the language by its location name, so we continue this practice.

Biraban’s keen understanding of language structure enabled him to teach his own language to Threlkeld, and to assist with interpreting in court cases involving Aboriginal people. He learnt English whilst working as a servant to Captain M. Gill at the military barracks in Sydney and also served as a tracker of escaped convicts. A more detailed description can be found here

Reverend Threlkeld^

Alternative spellings and names include:
Awaba, Awabagal, Kuringgai, Karikal, Minyowa, Minyowie, Kuri, Wonnuaruah, Wannerawa, Wonarua, Wonnah Kuah, Wonnarua, Wanarruwa, Kayawaykal, Keawekal, Geawagal, Weawe-gal, Garewegal.

Language Outline

HRLM is characterised by having:

Three vowels: i, a and u, each of which can also be pronounced as a longer vowel (although it is not known if vowel length is contrastive) and 13 consonants. The writing system developed for HRLM includes voiceless stops and the palatal pronunciations of the laminal stop and nasal: p, t, tj, k, m, n, ny, ng, r, rr, l, w and y.
A rich system of noun suffixing (tag endings) to mark the grammatical roles of subject, object and agent. Other suffixes indicate instrument, location, movement towards, movement from, cause, via, with, like, for etc.
The pronouns have singular, dual and plural number, nine cases and the singular pronouns also have bound forms.
Verbs have three tenses: present, past and future. Other suffixes convey different meanings, such as permit, want, make, each other, self, lest, for, etc.
Sentences have free word order, although there is a tendency towards agent – object – verb in a transitive sentence, unless there is focus on a non-agent participant.
Language Resources

The main published texts are:
Threlkeld, LE 1834, An Australian Grammar comprehending the principles and natural rules of the language, as spoken by the Aborigines, in the vicinity of Hunter’s River, Lake Macquarie, &c. New South Wales. Sydney: Stephens and Stokes, Herald Office.

Lissarrague, A 2006, A Salvage Grammar of the language from the Hunter River and Lake Macquarie. Nambucca Heads: Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative.

Written examples of the language

Minyaringpi nyakilin?
What are you looking at?

Anipu puwantuwa Patty amuwangkinpa.
This is Patty with me.

Wiya nyura uwanan Mulapinpakulang?
Will you all go to Newcastle?

Minyaring kanpi wiyan?
What do you say?

Minyaynpin wanay?
How many children do you have?

Wanang-pi manan, ani, anuwa?
Which will you take, this one, that one?

Wiya pali uwanan? Wantja? Sydneykulang!
Shall we go? Where? To Sydney!


Bi lingual learning NT petition

tuesday, december 16, 2008

Bi lingual learning NT – Please sign and distribute
Published date: 3/12/08

Petition For Bi-lingual Learning


This petition of citizens from Australia and overseas, both Indigenous
and non-Indigenous, draws the attention of the House to the announcement on October 14th 2008 by the NT Government that from 2009 the ten remaining bilingual programs in the Northern Territory would be effectively closed down.

We believe that:
• The NT Government’s decision is educationally unsound, and that it will
hinder, rather than help, the children’s chances of learning good English. It goes against the strong evidence that using a child’s first language fosters greater cognitive development and proficiency in learning through all curriculum areas.

• The decision is demoralising for Indigenous communities who have put
effort into promoting and developing teaching methodologies that suit
bilingual and bicultural Indigenous children. Our NT bilingual and bicultural programs have provided real jobs, real work and real incentives for Indigenous educators to train and work in these schools.

• The decision will prejudice the survival of Indigenous languages. The use of the child’s first language also fosters pride in the students’ self esteem and Indigenous identity as recognised in the “Little Children are Sacred” Report.

• The decision goes against the recognition by the United Nations of
the right of Indigenous people to provide education in their own languages.

We therefore ask the House to:

Ratify the UN Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in particular to direct the NT Government to comply with Article 14 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Article 14.1:

Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.




Principal Petitioners:
Names: Kathryn McMahon and Yalmay Yunupingu
Address: 58 Tiwi Gardens Road, Tiwi, Darwin. NT 0810

Eleven Facts about NT Bilingual Schools

FACT 1: Bilingual schools teach English and an Australian Indigenous language
Literacy in the ‘mother-tongue’ is taught while a child is learning to hear and understand English. Over the 12 years of schooling about 70% of teaching will be in English.

FACT 2: A small percentage of Indigenous students attend bilingual school
16% of remote Indigenous students (7.8% of all students) attend nine bilingual schools. The remaining 84% of remote Indigenous students do not attend bilingual schools.

FACT 3: Bilingual schools out perform non-bilingual schools
Previous NT studies in the 1980s and 90s have shown that bilingual schools out perform non-bilingual schools in key English literacy and numeracy areas. See Fact 3.1 references on page 2.
Both national and international studies strongly indicate that teaching literacy in the mother tongue is the better way to support the development of English literacy. See Fact 3.2 references on page 2.

FACT 4: No evidence against bilingual schooling
There has never been a formal independent published report showing that bilingual programs have been anything but successful.

FACT 5: Bilingual program achievements were noted
The achievements of bilingual schooling were noted in the Department’s Indigenous Languages and Culture Report.
See Fact 5 reference on page 2.

FACT 6: Bilingual schools produce more Year 12 or NTCE graduates
Of the 31 Year 12 graduates in 2007, 70% came from bilingual schools. This means that a student is almost 9 times more likely to graduate from Year 12 if they come from a bilingual school. See: NTDET 2006 Poster: You Can Do It.

FACT 7: More teacher graduates from bilingual schools
There are more teacher graduates from bilingual schools than non bilingual schools. Up to 1998, 75% of all graduates (Ass Dip and Dip Teaching) from BIITE came from bilingual schools, or up to 1998 a graduate teacher was about 20 times more likely to come from a bilingual school. See comment on page 2.

FACT 8: Indigenous ESL students have double the student/teacher ratio as migrant ESL students. Migrant children from non-English speaking backgrounds attend intensive English classes with a teacher/student ratio of 1 to 10. Indigenous students with low or no English proficiency attend classes with a teacher/student ratio of 1 to 22.

FACT 9: Labour’s broken election promise on Universal Human Rights
Labour has forgotten its 2007 election promise to honour Australia’s commitments to the Universal Human Rights
Declaration, to which Australian became a signatory in 1948. See Fact 9 reference on page 2.

FACT 10: Labour’s broken promise to endorse the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights
Labour’s pre-election (2007) platform endorsing the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights Article 14 (below) has been
ignored. See Fact 10 reference on page 2.

Fact 11: Labour ignores Australia’s obligations under UN Convention of the Rights of Child 1989
Australia’s obligations under this convention talk about discrimination on the basis of language, ethnicity andidentity. See Fact 11 reference on page 2.
Page 2 15/12/2008 Email comments to:
Eleven Facts about NT Bilingual Schools – References

FACT 3.1 references:
3.1.1 Devlin, B. (1995). The evaluation of bilingual programs in the Northern Territory, 1973–1993. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 113, 25-41.
3.1.2 Christie, M., Gale, K., McClay, D., and Harris, S., (1981) Academic achievement in the Milingimbi bilingual education program TESOL Quarterly, 297-314

FACT 3.2 references:
3.2.1 Greene, J. (1998). A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of bilingual education.[WWW document.] Retrieved
December 4, 2008 from
3.2.2 Meyer, M. & Fienberg, S. (Eds.) (1992). Case of bilingual education strategies. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
3.2.3 Ramirez, J.D. (1992). Executive summary of longitudinal study of structured English immersion strategy, early exit and late exit transitional bilingual education programs for language minority children. Bilingual
Research Journal, 16 (1&2), 1-61.
3.2.4 Willig, A. (1985). A meta-analysis of selected studies on the effectiveness of bilingual education. Review of Educational Research, 55, 269-317.

FACT 5 reference:
NT DEET (2005) The Indigenous languages and culture in NT schools report (2004- 2005). Pages 35-37, Retrieved
December 4, 2008 from:

FACT 7 comment:
Up to 1998 there were more bilingual schools, but as 3 out of every 4 teacher graduates came from a small number of bilingual schools (which in 2008 represents 16% of Indigenous students), then calculations show that up to 1998, a graduate teacher was approximately 20 times more likely to come from a bilingual school.

FACT 9 reference:
Universal Human Rights Declaration:
Article 26.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

FACT 10 reference:
UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights
Article 14:
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providingeducation in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.
Article 15
1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the dignity and diversity of their cultures, traditions, histories and aspirations which shall be appropriately reflected in education and public information.
2. States shall take effective measures, in consultation and cooperation with the indigenous peoples concerned, to combat prejudice and eliminate discrimination and to promote tolerance, understanding and good relations among indigenous peoples and all other segments of society.

Fact 11 reference:
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 29.1
“… education of the child shall be directed to (c) the development of respect for the child’s parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate and for civilizations different from his or her own …”

Save our languages (please read and take action)

Save our languages (please read and action)
Published date : 10-11-2008
Indigenous Languages Petition
TO THE HONOURABLE SPEAKER,MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESThis petition of citizens from Australia and overseas both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous draws to the attention of the House that we are alarmed at the rate of unchecked language loss in Australia. Over 250 vigorous and vibrant languages on record at the time of European arrival in Australia have been reduced to just 17 which are being transmitted naturally to younger members of their communities. Some other languages are still spoken fluently but the vast majority are in varying states of decline and disrepair. There are also vigorous efforts across the country to maintain and revive languages, in some cases to re-introduce them after many decades of non-use.In the debate and activity addressing indigenous disadvantage indigenous languages have been overlooked. Language should be seen as a pathway to education, to healthier and wealthier communities, not as a separate subordinate issue.We therefore ask the House to develop a National Indigenous Languages Policy and a National Indigenous Languages Institute in order to strategically and coherently support the:
Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages (including creoles and Aboriginal Englishes)
Documentation and development of Indigenous Languages
Development of programs at all levels of Education
Development of numeracy and literacy targets in Indigenous Languages
Provision of interpreting and translation services (and training interpreters)
Expansion of employment options that recognise and utilise language knowledge and skills
Development of measures to increase the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in the public domain (including music industry, TV, radio, press, public art and signage).


PRINCIPAL PETITIONERName: Paul Herbert (Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages)To post or fax your vote print this form and post or fax to:Address: 295 King Street Melbourne VICPostcode: 3000Email: Telephone: 03 9602 4700Fax: 03 9602 4770

To vote online click button.,com_joomlapetition/Itemid,/catid,1/func,viewcategory/ If You Have Any Problems Signing the Petition1) The Security-Code May Not Display. Please Try Again.2) There May Be A Typo In Your Email Address OR Security Code. Please Try Again.3) Don’t Receive A Confirmation Email? Please Check Your Junk Mail. If Still Nothing, Please Try Again.4) Anything Else? Please Email Us at:

The Barunga Statement

Attachment A – The Barunga Statement
We, the Indigenous owners and occupiers of Australia, call on the Australian Government and people to recognise our rights:
to self-determination and self-management, including the freedom to pursue our own economic, social, religious and cultural development;
to permanent control and enjoyment of our ancestral lands;
to compensation for the loss of use of our lands, there having been no extinction of original title;
to protection of and control of access to our sacred sites, sacred objects, artefacts, designs, knowledge and works of art;
to the return of the remains of our ancestors for burial in accordance with our traditions;
to respect for and promotion of our Aboriginal identity, including the cultural, linguistic, religious and historical aspects, and including the right to be educated in our own languages and in our own culture and history;
in accordance with the universal declaration of human rights, the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, the international covenant on civil and political rights, and the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, rights to life, liberty, security of person, food, clothing, housing, medical care, education and employment opportunities, necessary social services and other basic rights.
We call on the Commonwealth to pass laws providing:
A national elected Aboriginal and Islander organisation to oversee Aboriginal and Islander affairs;
A national system of land rights;
A police and justice system which recognises our customary laws and frees us from discrimination and any activity which may threaten our identity or security, interfere with our freedom of expression or association, or otherwise prevent our full enjoyment and exercise of universally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We call on the Australian Government to support Aborigines in the development of an international declaration of principles for indigenous rights, leading to an international covenant.
And we call on the Commonwealth Parliament to negotiate with us a Treaty recognising our prior ownership, continued occupation and sovereignty and affirming our human rights and freedom.

Attachment B – Statement of Reconciliation
Learning from the Past As Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians seek to move forward together in a process of renewal, it is essential that we deal with the legacies of the past affecting the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, including the First Nations, Inuit and MÚtis. Our purpose is not to rewrite history but, rather, to learn from our past and to find ways to deal with the negative impacts that certain historical decisions continue to have in our society today.
The ancestors of the First Nations, Inuit and MÚtis peoples lived on this continent long before explorers from other continents first came to North America. For thousands of years before this country was founded, they enjoyed their own forms of government. Diverse, vibrant Aboriginal nations had ways of life rooted in fundamental values concerning their relationship to the Creator, the environment, and each other, in the role of Elders as the living memory of their ancestors, and in their responsibilities as custodians of the lands, waters and resources of their homelands.
The assistance and spiritual values of the Aboriginal peoples who welcomed the newcomers to this continent too often have been forgotten. The contributions made by all Aboriginal peoples to Canada’s development, and the contributions they continue to make to our society today, have not been properly acknowledged. The Government of Canada today, on behalf of all Canadians, acknowledges those contributions.
Sadly, our history with respect to the treatment of Aboriginal people is not something in which we can take pride. Attitudes of racial and cultural superiority led to a suppression of Aboriginal culture and values. As a country we are burdened by past actions that resulted in weakening the identity of Aboriginal peoples, suppressing their languages and cultures and outlawing spiritual practices. We must recognise the impact of these actions on the once self-sustaining nations that were disaggregated, disrupted, limited or even destroyed by the dispossession of traditional territory, by the relocation of self-sustaining nations that were desegregated, disrupted, limited or even destroyed by the dispossession of traditional territory, by the relocation of Aboriginal people, and by some provisions f the Indian Act. We must acknowledge that the result of these actions was the erosion of the political, economic and social systems of Aboriginal people and nations.
Against the backdrop of these historical legacies, it is a remarkable tribute to the strength and endurance of Aboriginal people that they have maintained their historic diversity and identity. The Government of Canada today formally expresses to all Aboriginal people in Canada our profound regret for past actions of the federal government which have contributed to these difficult pages in the history of our relationship together.
One aspect of our relationship with Aboriginal people over this period that required particular attention is the Residential School system. This system separated many children from their families and communities and prevented them from speaking their own languages and from learning about their heritage and cultures. In the worst cases, it left legacies of personal pain and distress that continue to reverberate in Aboriginal communities to this day. Tragically, some children were the victims of physical and sexual abuse.
The Government of Canada acknowledges the role it played in the development and administration of these schools. Particularly to those individuals who experienced the tragedy of sexual and physical abuse at residential schools, and who have carried this burden believing that in some way they must be responsible, we wish to emphasize that what you experienced was not your fault and should never have happened. To those of you who suffered this tragedy at residential schools, we are deeply sorry.
In dealing with the legacies of the Residential School system, the Government of Canada proposes to work with First Nations, Inuit and MÚtis people, the Churches and other interested parties to resolve the outstanding issues that must be addressed. We need to work together on a healing strategy to assist individuals and communities in dealing with the consequences of this sad era in our history.
No attempt at reconciliation with Aboriginal people can be complete without reference to the sad events culminating in the death of MÚtis leader Louis Riel. These events cannot be undone: however, we can and will continue to look for ways of affirming the contributions of MÚtis people in Canada and of reflecting Louis Riel’s proper place in Canada’s history.
Reconciliation is an ongoing process. In renewing our partnership, we must ensure that the mistakes which marked our past relationship are not repeated. The Government of Canada recognizes that policies that sought to assimilate Aboriginal people, women and men, were not the way to build a strong country.
We must instead continue to find ways in which Aboriginal people can participate fully in the economic, political, cultural and social life of Canada in a manner which preserves and enhances the collective identities of Aboriginal communities, and allows them to evolve and flourish in the future. Working together to achieve our shared goals will benefit all Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike.
On behalf of the Government of Canada
The Honourable Jane Stewart, P.C, M.P. Minister for Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, P.C., M.P. Federal Interlocutor for MÚtis and Non-Status Indians.

Attachment C – Preamble to the Constitution of South Africa
We, the people of South Africa,Recognise the injustices of our past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.We therefore, through our freely elected representatives, adopt this constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to – Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; Lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law;Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person;and Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations. May God protect our people. Nkosi Sikelel’iAfrika. Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso. God seen Suid Afrika. God bless South Africa. Mudzimu fhatutshedza Afurika. Hosi Katekisa Afrika.

Useful Quotes from Walkabouts

The key to living a full and healthy life is meaning what you say, saying what you mean, and doing it.
Talk is cheap. Cons are easy. Action requires a commitment.
Anne Wilson Shaef.

Over the years I saw many of my friends and family turn to alcohol as an escape from the pain of their existence and, at the age of 15, I made the decision never to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes-both major agents of genocide-a golden rule I have followed throughout my life.
Burnum Burnum, Aboriginal Writer.

The Creator designed us to learn by trial and error. The path of life we walk is very wide. Everything on the path is sacred-what we do right is sacred-but our mistakes are also sacred. This is the Creators way of teaching spiritual people. To criticize ourselves when we make mistakes is not the Indian way. To learn from our mistakes is the Indian way. The definition of a spiritual person is someone who makes 30-50 mistakes each day and talks to the Creator after each one to see what to do next time. This is the way of the warrior.
Don Coyhis, Mohican Writer.

She learnt from her elders that everything in the universe is perfect. People and anything else only become less than perfect when compared to someone or something else, or when influenced by negative forces.
Rangimarie Turuki Pere, Maori Writer.

Wait below for he who is above. (He will fall.)
Swahili Proverb

There are Indigenous belief systems. In areas where sorcery is strong, it is women who hold spiritual power. Christianity has arrived with all it’s variations. But the spirit world has been part of Indigenous culture for generations.
Margaret Taylor, Papua New Guinea Writer.

The senses are contradictory and deceiving. We never look at anything with our senses. We look with our feelings. Only our feelings can be trusted.
Alex Pua, Hawaiian Kupuna.

Let us give thanks for this beautiful day. Let us give thanks for this life. Let us give thanks for the water without which life would not be possible. Let us give thanks for grandmother earth who protects and nourishes us.
Daily Prayer of the Lakota American Indian.

Crystals are very important to the planet. There are various concentrations of crystals around that keep the planet in balance. When these concentrations of crystals are broken up and carried off, the planet is no longer in balance.
Aboriginal Elder.

Land is not just real estate… is part of the essence of who Indigenous people are. It needs to be understood within the context of their spirituality and their holistic sense of creation and humanity… A landless Indigenous person is a person at real risk.
The Reverend Paul Reeves, Maori Elder.

Technologically advanced cultures dismiss the contribution of the Aboriginal peoples. I believe our contribution can dramatically change everyone’s life on this planet. It is imperative that people understand the separate reality of native peoples and the rest of society.
Douglas Cardinal, Canadian Indian Writer, Artist and Architect.

We must respect our Mother, the Earth, or we can never grow as human beings, her children.
Phil Lane Sr, Yankton Lakota Elder, American Indian.

Old people are highly respected, honoured and loved. They are regarded as the living links with the ancestors.
Feleti E Ngan-Woo, Samoan Writer.

The wisest mans sees the least, says the least but prayers the most.
Irish Proverb.

We want to save that which is written on the people’s tongues.
Peter Kalifornsky, Dena’ina Elder, Alaska.

Words have great power and should be used carefully. Aloha, for example, should not be seen as just a frivolous tourist greeting. Alo means the bosom of the center of the universe, and ha, the breath of God, so to say this word is to appreciate another person’s divinty.
Nana Veary, Hawaiian Kupuna.

We cannot depend on governments to heal our wounds. We have to help each other.
Hene, Maori Woman Elder.

Other people can rape and damage my body. Only I can damage my soul.
American Indian Woman Elder.

Whenever we pray we always pray ‘’mitakuye oyasin’’, for all our relations.
We pray for all of the black people, all the yellow people, all the white people, and all the red people. We pray for all our relations.
Lakota Elder, American Indian.

What God has established, man cannot annul.
Swahili Proverb.

Our white relatives say the Indian is stoic. This is not necessarily true. We just wait to see the true person. Given time he will show his true self, so we wait and time will provide the proof.
Phil Lane Sr, Yankton Lakota Elder, American Indian.

Perhaps only when people can enjoy their differences as a resource of cultural enrichment do they become truly civilized.
Herb Kawainui Kane, Hawaiian Kupuna and Artist.

Childhood among the Australian Aborigines is the happiest time of their lives. No one who has lived with a group of nomadic hunters, or has spent any time in a camp of Aborigines who are still living under tribal conditions, can have failed to notice the indulgence and solicitude that is lavished upon the children during their early years.
Donald Thompson, Writer observing Australian Aborigines.

If spirit becomes off balance in the white man’s world, they call it sin. Traditional medicine is with the whole being. Most of the sickness today is of the spirit.
George Goodstriker, Kainai (Blackfoot) Elder, Canada.

When you are ready, come to me. I will take you into nature. In nature you will learn everything that you need to know.
Rolling Thunder, Cherokee Medicine Man, American Indian.

A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.
Irish Saying.

Long time ago people live by these things because that’s the only way people can get along. By looking at things the right way. We live close together. The way I was brought up has nothing to do with no whiteman way. Absolutely. What I learned is the Indian way.
Peter John, Athabaskan Elder and Chief, Minto, Alaska.

A balance does not exist at this time as there is no input by Native people into this world.
Douglas Cardinal, Canadian Indian Writer, Artist and Architect.

My greatness comes not from me alone. It derives from a multitude, from my ancestors; The authority, the awe, the divine, and the artistry,
I inherited these gifts, from my ancestors.
Te Maori Exhibit.

Don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t be lazy. Let’s just respect each other.
Peruvian Woman Speaker.

The results of these crude attempts to engineer the demise of the Aborigines have been disastrous. The anger and the pain they feel at their treatment and their distrust of the law is justified by their experiences. Even so, what emerges is not bitterness but wisdom, not hatred but patience, not retreat but a desire to share their culture.
Derek Fowell, Australian Writer.

She always said, when someone be mean or say bad things about us, to let it go, never fight back or defend our self. We were to be kind to them instead and only see the good things on others.
Clara Honea, Athabaskan Elder, Ruby, Alaska.

A bad thing usually costs a lot.
Mario Proverb.

A thoroughly trained mind, and a broadly cultivated heart are luminous in the soul of nations.
The Reverend Akaiko Akana, Hawaiian Kupuna.

The power lies in the wisdom and understanding of one’s role in the great mystery, and in honoring every living thing as a teacher.
Jamie Sams and David Carson, American Indian Writers.

The dreaming is ongoing. The ancestors created the rocks, waterholes, plants and people and are a continuing presence today. We continue to be one with our ancestors and that oneness gives us the confidence to know the land and the waterholes created in the dreamtime.
Aboriginal Elder.

The release that my family is finding from alcoholism is going back to the spiritual ways.
Nez Perce’ Elder, American Indian.

O Great Spirit who made all races, look kindly upon the whole human family, and take away the arrogance and hatred which separates us from our brothers.
Cherokee Prayer, American Indian.

The rise of mana (the power of) Maori is a positive and liberating experience which is part of the international struggle by Indigenous populations such as the Maori from self-determination, cultural survival, and escape from domination.
Sydney Moko Mead, Maori Writer.

I teach my children to hunt the old way. Where they make the first kill on the hunt they leave all the insides, including the heart and the liver, for our relatives, the winged, the four-legged and the crawling, and we thank the deer or whatever animal we kill for laying its life down for us so we can live and eat their meat. We say our prayers in unspoken language and respect whatever we kill or dig or pick.
Jeanette Timentwa, Colville Lake Tribe Elder, American Indian.

Try to understand water, minerals, vegetation, animal behavior, and then it is easy to understand human behavior.
George Goodstriker, Kainai (Blackfoot) Elder, Canada.

Look behind you. See your sons and your daughters. They are your future. Look further and see your sons’ and daughters’ children and their children’s children even unto the seventh generation. That’s the way we were taught. Think about it- you yourself are a seventh generation.
Leon Shenandoah, Onondagan Elder, American Indian.

The elders teach us that the Creator is a loving and forgiving God. He loves us during our good days and he loves us during our bad days. He doesn’t know how to do anything but love. If I really want to find out about the true God, I only need to ask in prayer. There is one thing that God cannot do and that is refuse help to one of his children who ask.
Don Coyhis, Mohican Writer.

Begin to care for nature and nature cares for you, in unsuspected ways.
Bill Neidjie, Australian Aboriginal.

Nature is the storehouse of potential life of future generations and is sacred.
Audrey Shenandoah, Onondagan Writer.

Disease starts in the mind and ends up in the guts. That’s why everyone needs to clean out the guts. Then the mind clears.
Angeline Locey, Hawaiian Kupuna and Healer.

How can people say one skin is colored when each has it’s own coloration? What should it matter that one bowl is dark and the other pale, if each is of good design and serves its purpose well? We who are clay blended by the master potter come from the kiln of creation in many hues.
Polingaysi Qoyawayma, Potter and Hopi Elder, American Indian.

Our greatest wealth is in the number of elders and children.
Alex Pua, Hawaiian Kupuna.

The best thing for your body is making love with a righteous partner every day.
Auntie Margaret, Hawaiian Kuhuna.

The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.
Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux, American Indian.

When you work for the Creator, you go back in nature, You work in ‘’his’’ time.
George Goodstriker, Kainai (Blackfoot) Elder, Canada.

We do not judge the mutants. We pray for them and release them as we pray and release ourselves. We pray they will look closely at their actions, at their values and learn before it is too late that all life is one. We pray they will stop the destruction of the earth and of each other.
Aboriginal Elder.

If what the teachers taught is true-that it is possible for an ancestral spirit for two generations (like one’s deceased parent or grandparent) to guard and inspire a beloved relative on earth-I shall watch over you from above and guide you righteously. I do not know at the present time how this is done but I shall find out from the guild of ancestral spirits when I join them after I awaken from nature’s trance-sleep of death.
Mary Julia Glennie Bush, Hawaiian Kupuna.

A good thing sells itself. A bad thing is advertised.
Swahili Proverb.

Being a warrior… It is a willingness to sacrifice everything except your truth, your way of being, your commitment. The ultimate stand is to your commitment to do something with your life that will make a difference.
Douglas Cardinal, Canadian Indian Writer, Artist and Architect.

We Indians have a more human philosophy of life. We Indians will show this country how to act human. Someday this country will revise its constitutions, its laws, in terms of human beings instead of property. If red power is to be a power in this country it is because it is ideological… What is the ultimate value of a man’s life? That is the question.
Vine Deloria Jr, Sioux Writer, American Indian.

To hold onto one’s anger for a long time is only to prolong one’s unhappiness.
Asesela Ravuvu, Fijian Writer.

Youth talks-Age teaches.
Maori Proverb.

We grow up knowing that the land is our Mother. We know that there can be no monetary value for our Mother.
Maori Elder.

The bonds with the mythical Beings of the Dreamtime are such that they believe in a united world of body and spirit for every form of life in the land, both living and non-living. This then means that the rocks, rivers and waterholes are more than just a reminder or a symbol of the Dreamtime; they represent reality and eternal truth.
David Gulplil, Australian Aboriginal.

Centuries ago you white people chose the path of science and technology. That path will destroy the planet. Our role is to protect the planet. We are hoping that you discover this before it’s too late.
Reuben Kelly, Aborignal Elder.

Take care of our children.
Take care of what they hear.
Take care of what they see.
Take care of what they feel.
For how the children grow so will be the shape of Aotearoa.
Dame Whina Cooper, Maori Elder.

Europeans and their perception of land is based on the materialistic. They look upon land as ‘’my land, I own this land’’. It is a commodity. Whereas Aborigines look at something as a part of the whole, a part of themselves, and they are part of that-the land. The land and they are one.
Aborignal Elder, Musgrave Park.

When you lie to a person you hurt his soul.
Phil Lane Sr, Yankton Lakota Elder, American Indian.

Aboriginal peoples live in the dream state of vision. As native people we are trained to bring dreams up into reality, into the real world. As a native person I am trained to bring out peoples visions. I am a dream maker trained to make peoples dreams a reality. I am totally involved in a dream in the making.
Douglas Cardinal, Canadian Indian Writer, Artist and Architect.

No time for your health today; no health for your time tomorrow.
Irish Proverb.

And he said you get rid of that anger and resentment towards whites for what they have done, everything you ask in his name will come to you-no difficulty, because you have built a compassion inside of you to the human race of the world.
Eddie Box, Ute Elder and Medicine Man, American Indian.

Nature is God’s greatest teacher. Man must learn to attune his higher spiritual consciousness to the harmonious flow of nature and feel the throbbing heartbeat of the man in heaven who created it for lasting duration in order to realize his oneness with nature and with God.
Old Native Hawaiian Fisherman.

In Europe, as people developed their civilization from the caves to the cathedrals, they left clear evidence of their achievements for future generations to admire. In Australia, the land itself is the cathedral and worship is not confined to any four walls. Each step is a prayer and every form in the landscape-and everything that moves in it-were put there specifically for the people to use and manage. And the mythic beings made clear the responsibility of the people of preserving and nurturing the environment. Their success in managing their world so successfully, and sustaining their culture for so long, is now attracting the worldwide respect it deserves.
Burnum Burnum, Aboriginal Writer.

Their was always harmony and balance between the land and the animals. The land needed the animals and the animals need the land. But this balance was broken when man arrived. Human beings needed the land and were not living in that balance. Aboriginal people developed Back burning to help rejuvenate the mothers fertility and in doing this they became needed to provide the heat to germinate the next generation of greenery. They became part of that balance, native wildlife need native grasses – fire is a must for renewel.

Indian Chief.

-Albert Einstein-
“The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the power of all true science.”

spiritual strength in numbers is the key to overcome!.
Aboriginal76 youtube

The Right Reverend Jesse Jackson

“Today’s students can put dope in their veins or hope in their brains. If they can conceive it and believe it, they can achieve it. They must know it is not their aptitude but their attitude that will determine their attitude”

If there be righteousness in the heart

There will be beauty in the character

If there is beauty in the character

There will be harmony in the home

If there is harmony in the home

There will be order in the nation

When there is order in each nation

There will be peace in the world.

Very old Chinese Proverb.

As Jim Rohn said -“Formal education will make you a living; self-
education will make you a fortune.”

information, in the hands of the right person
who actually puts it to use, is worth 100 times
– 1,000 times – more than it’s actual cost.

Be who you are
say what you feel
because those who mind
don’t matter
and those who matter
don’t mind.
~ Dr. Seuss ~
Labels: quotes

A Call from The Wild: How today’s children need nature and how the future depends on it By Ian Cleary

A Call from The Wild: How today’s children need nature and how the future depends on it

I received Richard Louv’s new book the day I received the news that I was to become a father for the first time. The book, Last Child in the Woods, Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, is a timely reminder of the challenges that lie before all parents, but an equally powerful recognition that my work as an environment educator has more purpose than ever!

Louv’s fascinating book highlights the broken relationship we have with our environment which stems from spending less time physically in nature. He links this separation from the natural world to many problems facing children today, including, diminished use of the senses, attention problems, and increased emotional and physical diseases including higher levels of childhood obesity and depression. Through a combination of compelling anecdotes and research, Louv argues a strong case for more focused studies, pointing out that no other generation in human history has had such levels of disconnection with nature. He suggests causes in the current crisis include a reduction of easily available open spaces, parental fear of injury or abuse, and, of course, the modern lures of being indoors.

Any adult who has experienced the delights of natural experiences knows the benefit. But sadly, Louv believes we may have ‘scared children straight out of the woods and fields’ and given in to a litigious culture that promotes organised sports as outdoor activities over unsupervised play in nature. In addition, he believes our fear of violent crime is based on a perceived risk exaggerated by biased media coverage.

Turning our attention to indoor technologies such as TV, computer games, home computers and the Internet, we find that these have had a double impact on child development. First, they take from available time that previous generations spent outdoors and, secondly, they only allow partial development of the senses and impede physical development. A line from Richard Louv’s book really drives home the challenge ahead, when he quotes a small boy saying. ‘I like to play indoors cause that’s where all the [power] outlets are.’

The book stresses the need to see play in nature not as leisure time but as something that is as crucial for our children’s development as a balanced diet or a good night’s sleep. He uses the term ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ not to describe a medical condition but to describe the symptoms experienced when children are cut off from direct nature experiences. Louv’s examples tend to have an American focus, but in my ten years as an environmental educator I have come to believe it also exists in Australia and the UK and probably in most developed countries. It’s a symptom of a larger social problem that has children (and adults) spending less time in nature than in the past and developing more of a ‘virtual’ relationship with it.

So why is building cubby houses and catching tadpoles more important than computer skills and soccer? Studies into the effects of reduced nature experiences are limited, partly because no one took note of how much time children of the past spent outside. It was probably assumed that it would always be that way, and that it was only natural for kids to want to play outdoors. It would appear that for many this is no longer the case.

So what IS the impact of a less nature-based childhood?

The Biophilia Theory, championed by Harvard Professor E.O.Wilson, suggests that we actually have a biological need to be outdoors. We develop and thrive through the sensory input from the natural world and its absence can cause all manner of problems. A branch of psychology known as eco-psychology also supports this. Of particular interest is the work done on the apparent links between outdoor play and ADHD. Studies at Illinois University have shown that time spent outdoors in ‘green spaces’ can actually reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Louv wonders whether a lack of nature might also be a cause of such attention problems.

Nature seems to operate on a more relaxed timetable than our own. Something as simple as a walk on the beach or through a rainforest tends to have a calming effect on most people. Louv would argue that this calming effect is crucial in healthy childhood development.

Inspiring the environmentalists of the future

Of the many points Louv raises in his book, I would like to focus on one aspect that particularly concerns my profession. How do we as teachers and parents, teach about ‘the environment’ and what priority should we place on experiencing the real thing?

I believe environmental education in primary schools today should concentrate on physically getting into local forests and mangroves — learning to listen for and identify the calls of local birds, or to wander local bush land smelling, touching, tasting, listening to, and generally feeling an intimate connection with what sustains us.

Try this. Think of the term ‘environmental education’ and feel what comes to mind or what should be taught under this field. For many it gives rise to ideas of global warming, protecting rainforests and oceans, animal extinction, stopping whaling, conserving water and other catastrophes. All of that is certainly critical information for society to take on. But it’s just that — information. To change people’s actions they first have to associate the environment with something worth saving — something seen in terms of awe, wonder, beauty, vastness, inter-relationships, precious moments, complexity beyond knowing and love. With this firmly anchored in their hearts through direct experience, only then should we teach about the broader issues facing the environment. The problem is that without such direct experience of nature our kids get an imbalance of information; we risk focusing on the negatives before children develop an appreciation of the positives. It’s a little like learning about the deadly snakes before learning that most snakes are harmless and all have a crucial part to play in our environment.

How then do we relate to snakes? Are we motivated to protect them?

I often get asked the question, ‘At what age is it best to start teaching about major environmental issues?’ The answer is always the same — not until the child has had plenty of years experiencing, exploring and developing a fascination for what’s around them; not dinosaurs or Madagascan lemurs, but ‘their’ environment — real experiences. I believe the love of skinks in the backyard — not the panda bear in Asia — is more likely to drive children to live responsible environmental lives as adults.

Studies of the great environmentalists of the last hundred years show two things they have in common. First, they had a childhood rich in contact with nature, and secondly, a close relationship with an adult who was enthusiastic about the environment. These two options are becoming less available, at a time when the world actually needs more committed environmentalists. The role of teachers and parents in this equation is obvious.

A virtual relationship with nature

Ironically we live in a world where children know more about the earth, but less about their own backyard. The huge increase in information available online or through nature documentaries has almost taken the place of direct nature experiences for some. Kids will excitedly tell you of last night’s Discovery Channel documentary on monkeys, alligators, emperor penguins or lions of the Serengeti. But ask what bird just called and there are blank faces.

These amazing nature shows can perhaps do more harm than good by giving people an unreal expectation of nature. I often think back to a night walk I once led. We had been out for about an hour and in that time we had seen an echidna, a platypus, heard two types of owls calling, seen several species of frogs, a small snake and to top it off, we watched a yellow-bellied glider (a possum-like animal the size of a small cat) leap from a tall tree and, spreading flaps of skin between its legs, soar over our heads and land in a tree over 50 metres away!! At the end of the night when I asked what people thought, to my surprise several of the group, adults and children alike, were disappointed. On further questioning, they admitted they didn’t quite know what to expect, but thought they would see more ‘stuff’.

I often question younger children about animals they know. Invariably it is the tigers, lions, giraffes and elephants that first come to mind, demonstrating that their knowledge is primarily virtual, not built on experiences with their local fruit bats, frogs, gliders, possums, kangaroos, snakes and lizards. I would encourage parents to choose from the great range of children’s books available today that have an ‘Australiana’ focus.

Schools are doing an amazing job but maybe the environmental education that’s really needed goes beyond the remit of schools. In the past it has taken place on weekends and after school, in the backyard, down at the local creek or forest. It was spontaneous and unsupervised. Anecdotally, this time nowadays seems to have been taken up by other activities. Many of these nature experiences seem to be beyond formal schooling but not beyond family activities. I see huge potential here for parents to both generate environmental awareness and spend valuable time with their kids. Parents are in the best place to be that enthusiastic adult who can stimulate an interest in nature. Ultimately it will have a far greater impact on the planet than any household recycling or compost scheme.

A few years ago I worked as an Education Officer for the Oxford University’s Botanic Garden and I was asked to run kids activities once a month. It may surprise you, but I cringed at the thought of it. Not that I don’t love working with children, but I had done the ‘Kids Club’ gig at so many nature resorts and national parks, spanning a decade of school holidays and long weekends. They tended to turn into baby-sitting sessions, while the parent took a break or went off to explore on their own. It seemed like such a wasted opportunity for families to explore together. I felt for the kids and the parents as well. And so I modified the weekends from kids activities to family learning days.

The new activities I developed drew from the fascination that comes from exploring nature and from an observation that it’s often the parents who are unsure of how to ‘play’ in nature. It was a huge success and amazing to watch. Families shared the experience of learning and exploring, and parents eagerly took on the role of ‘Tour Guide’ for the day with the information I had primed them with. The activities challenged the adults to relax and enjoy their surrounds and they were often also inspired by their own child’s sense of awe. The adults soon had a ‘childlike’ fascination for what was before them. These creative and simple activities helped bring about a wonderful connection between parent, child and nature.

Over the years I have seen how many adults and children struggle being in nature. This disconnection creates a feeling of discomfort and sometimes even fear. But it never occurred to me that they may physically struggle too. The role that nature can play in the physical development of children hit me one spring morning in England. I took a school group of nine-year-olds walking through a beautiful wildflower meadow. These were kids from a rough estate who had had very few ‘outdoor’ experiences. As I watched them walk, I noticed that amongst all the laughter, they were struggling to walk over the uneven ground. Their teacher said that for many it was the first time that they had experienced uneven grass. Their brains were actually telling them, from past experience on the ovals and sidewalks, that grass is flat.

After these experiences, and now back in Australia I decided to write a book compiling all the years of activities that I have used to reconnect families with nature and with each other. I want to share beautiful ways to generate the awe and inspiration that nature provides, as well as the benefits that seem to follow.

From these activities comes a fascination for nature, confidence in being outdoors, the valuing of all life forms, improved self-esteem, imagination and creativity and a general honing of all the senses.

The activities also draw on another lesson that being in nature gives us and is particularly vital nowadays — the ability to slow down and ‘be’ at a more natural pace. Being in nature also gives us the gift of experiencing a place where there is no judgement. It is a place that eases our stresses while increasing our creativity. It has been beautiful to watch these activities heal what Richard Louv calls the ‘broken relationship with the earth’, while strengthening the bonds within the family.

Can we ever reconnect with nature?

I’ve thought a lot about whether an activity can ever actually ‘reconnect’ us with nature. It seems to me that we are never really disconnected. We breathe, we eat, we drink and in turn feed the earth with our waste and eventually our bodies. We are always connected as we ARE nature. We just live and behave as if we are not. So these so-called ‘reconnecting with nature’ activities actually help us to change our awareness of our place in nature; helping us to realise how deeply connected we always are.

It’s an exciting time to be alive and raise kids. I’m inspired by the incredible environmental movement, its dedicated teachers and rich spiritual traditions that are reawakening our awareness of our earthly origins. I want my children to live in a world rich in biodiversity and have a deep respect for others and nature, and see the role I played in helping them achieve it. It does take a commitment of time and energy, and often it feels like a movement against the tide. But I have a quotation on my office wall that I often look to for encouragement.

‘Some people know what they do. Others know why they do what they do. But nobody knows what they do, DOES.’

Hopefully through the work of enthusiastic parents and teachers, enough kids will develop an intimate love of their nature so that they will help drive us in a new direction — towards a life-sustaining society instead of our industrial growth society that is failing our children and our environment.

And so my thoughts turn from environmental educator to parent. How best to raise my child? I know the adult I am today is a result of my childhood. I cherish my memories of the outdoors, of camping, fishing, swimming, walking and, best of all, exploring. As a father-to-be, I know that I will be guided by that nostalgic view of a carefree childhood, and will make it a priority to give my child those opportunities. I also realise I will be challenged by the clash of past and present. I am not immune to the media messages about unsupervised play. The question is ‘Will I let my children explore on their own?’ I recognise the importance of nature and the harm caused by its absence, so the answer is ‘absolutely’. Not that I intend to disregard the potential dangers, it’s just that I will assess them against the risk to my child’s mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing of not having a nature-based upbringing.

Advice from me as an environmental educator is to be cautious about what we are teaching about the environment; push for school outings; fight to save the local bushland; meet your ‘neighbours’ (the birds, reptiles and frogs); read Louv’s book and most importantly, get out there. Merely being in nature will benefit you and your kids and … their kids. 

Published in Kindred issue 22, June 07

Ian Cleary is a passionate educator and speaker, whose environmental vision has taken him around Australia and the world. Now, as co-founder of True Nature Guides, he inspires people to experience and celebrate their profound connection with their inner and outer nature, their True Nature. To receive regular fun family activities, or updates on future workshops or publications, email Ian.


Did you know?
Did you know?
The greatest risk of CHEMICAL EXPOSURE for the Average Person is found in the BATHROOM
There are at least 125 suspected CARCINOGENIC ingredients found in everyday personal care products and cosmetics
Everyday products such as shampoo, bubble bath, toothpaste and moisturizer or body lo-tions including baby products contain industrial chemicals which are used in products such as engine degreasers, anti-freeze and oven cleaners
Your children may be in danger from baby shampoos, skin lotions, baby wipes and tooth-paste. According to doctors and medical researchers in the United States, Japan, Switzer-land and Germany, two common ingredients found in ordinary shampoos and skin products may be linked to cataracts, cancer, eye damage and even blindness in young children!
Artificial fragrances in most products contain neurotoxic substances and are toxic to hu-mans. They also decrease sperm count and formation.
Sodium Fluoride one of the active ingredients in Rat Poison is in commonly found in over 300 different types of toothpaste including children‘s varieties
Ingredients in many baby products such as Methyl Paraben are linked to cancer, reproduc-tive/developmental toxicity, allergies, immuno-toxicity and more. Bio-accumulation of these toxins are particularly harmful to babies because of the amount and long term expo-sure from birth.

Every day we buy products laced with a cocktail of chemicals causing us, our families and the en-vironment great harm. They are sold in supermarkets, health food stores, retail outlets and on-line advertised as natural, organic and safe to use.
Most of us have believed the lies and the hype… But now we know what to look out for .
Check the ingredient labels on the products in your bathroom cupboard and find out what they really are?
Be Vigilant! Check the ingredient list on your products.
Copyright © 2009 Niche Finders. All rights reserved.
Labels: Wellbeing

for the Average Person is found in the BATHROOM
There are at least 125 suspected CARCINOGENIC ingredients found in everyday personal care products and cosmetics
Everyday products such as shampoo, bubble bath, toothpaste and moisturizer or body lo-tions including baby products contain industrial chemicals which are used in products such as engine degreasers, anti-freeze and oven cleaners
Your children may be in danger from baby shampoos, skin lotions, baby wipes and tooth-paste. According to doctors and medical researchers in the United States, Japan, Switzer-land and Germany, two common ingredients found in ordinary shampoos and skin products may be linked to cataracts, cancer, eye damage and even blindness in young children!
Artificial fragrances in most products contain neurotoxic substances and are toxic to hu-mans. They also decrease sperm count and formation.
Sodium Fluoride one of the active ingredients in Rat Poison is in commonly found in over 300 different types of toothpaste including children‘s varieties
Ingredients in many baby products such as Methyl Paraben are linked to cancer, reproduc-tive/developmental toxicity, allergies, immuno-toxicity and more. Bio-accumulation of these toxins are particularly harmful to babies because of the amount and long term expo-sure from birth.

Every day we buy products laced with a cocktail of chemicals causing us, our families and the en-vironment great harm. They are sold in supermarkets, health food stores, retail outlets and on-line advertised as natural, organic and safe to use.
Most of us have believed the lies and the hype… But now we know what to look out for .
Check the ingredient labels on the products in your bathroom cupboard and find out what they really are?
Be Vigilant! Check the ingredient list on your products.
Copyright © 2009 Niche Finders. All rights reserved.

Connection Parenting, Pam Leo.

“Let’s raise children who won’t have to recover from their childhood.” – Pam Leo
“The level of cooperation parents get from their children is usually equal to the level of connection children feel with their parents.” – Pam Leo
Pam Leo is a founding board member of the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children (aTLC) and is one of the the primary architects of the aTLC Proclamation and Blueprint. The aTLC has generously posted a free, one-hour streaming audio in-studio interview (MP3) on their website. Please click the following link if you would like to hear the interview. The link will open in a new page:
What is Connection Parenting?
“Connection parenting is parenting through connectioninstead of coercion, through love instead of fear.”
The model of parenting most of us grew up with was authoritarian parenting, which is based on fear. Some of us may have grown up with permissive parenting, which is also based on fear. Authoritarian parenting is based on the child’s fear of losing the parent’s love. Permissive parenting is based on the parent’s fear of losing the child’s love. Connection parenting is based on love instead of fear.
Connection Parenting recognizes that securing and maintaining a healthy parent-child bond is our primary work as parents and the key to our children’s optimal human development. Our effectiveness as parents is in direct proportion to the strength of the bond we have with our child. Connection Parenting promotes parenting practices that support a strong, healthy parent-child bond.
Both authoritarian parenting and permissive parenting are reactive. Connection parenting is proactive. Rather than focusing on ways to discipline children when their feelings of disconnection result in uncooperative or unacceptable behavior, Connection Parenting focuses on ways to maintain and increase the parent-child bond/connection.
Connection parenting is an ideal, a navigation star we can look to for guidance. Whenever we question how to respond to a child we can ask ourselves, will this response create a connection or a disconnection. We feel connected when we feel listened to and loved. We feel disconnected when we feel hurt and unheard.
Sometimes a child’s behavior will push our buttons and we react rather than respond. As soon as we realize we have created a disconnect, we can reconnect by doing the following:
Rewind – Acknowledge we have said or done something hurtful
Repair – Apologize and ask for forgiveness
Replay – Respond with love and listening
Even if we can’t parent in the most nurturing ways all the time, the more often we can, the more our children get what they need, the better they will be able to weather the times when we parent in less nurturing ways.
Pam Leo is an affiliate of the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children ( aTLC ).
To learn more about parenting practices that support healthy bonding, please see the Proclamation and Blueprint for Transforming the Lives of Children at the aTLC website:
Pam Leo speaks on Parenting Advice:
A parenting philosophy is relevant only to the extent that itpromotes parenting practices which support secure bonding.
Our effectiveness as parents is in direct proportion to the strength of the bond we have with our child. Securing and maintaining that bond is our primary work as parents and is the key to optimal human development.
Parents often tell me that they find parenting advice to be confusing and contradictory. They ask, “How do I tell the difference between ‘good’ parenting advice and ‘bad’ parenting advice? One expert or book says to do one thing and another tells me to do the exact opposite? How am I to know what is best for my child?”
My best answer to that question is the question I ask myself: “If I follow this advice, will I create a connection or a disconnection with my child?” When a parent’s behavior creates a connection, the child feels that the parent is on his side, and their bond and connection is strengthened. When a parent’s behavior creates a disconnection, the child feels that the parent is against him, and their bond and connection is weakened. Since parents’ effectiveness is in direct proportion to the strength of the bond and connection they have with their child, any advice that undermines the strength of that bond is counterproductive.
“In any interaction with a child, will my words or actions strengthen or weaken our connection?” – Pam Leo

Pam Leo – Connection Parenting
Attn: Magnolia
10 Old Orchard Road
Gorham, Maine 04038


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A little about page admin Kaiyu Moura (Bayles)

Now living in QLD raising her children on their traditional country, gathering food, learning the old art of building shelters, dance and the local language. For the past 20 years with her late Grandmother Maureen Watson and a dance group with 6 of her sisters Kaiyu travelled schools, festivals, events etc sharing the beauty of First Nations Culture through song and dance, stories, art, theatre, nursery rhymes, poetry etc and engaging all ages in different projects that inspire positive change. Also a poet, documentary maker, songwriter, artist, event organiser, media consultant, testing the waters of micro social enterprise by starting her own tshirt and sublimation printing business and with her own label, Kaiyu creates what she calls Freedom Threads.

After building their own home on Tribal Sovereign land, Kaiyu is now homeschooling and teaching the kids about making our own tinctures, learning about bushtucker and mushrooms, growing food, building with aircrete, setting up wind turbines, composting toilets and ram water pumps... Really learning what it truly means to thrive. This is our Group where we share alot of what we do

Kaiyu and the Tribe