OWNERSHIP OF CULTURAL PROPERTIES AND KNOWLEDGES
NTEU acknowledges that academic and research practices of past and present generations have caused the misappropriation of Indigenous knowledges, artefacts and remains. These items have been accumulated and wrongfully held by universities, and other institutions such as museums, public and private collections – both Australian and international - without the consent of the traditional owners.
NTEU also acknowledges that these cultural knowledges, artefacts and remains have often been used in campaigns to foster “coloniser superiority” and have additionally contributed to horrific and genocidal programmes and legislature.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples are custodians of the longest continuing cultures in the world and as such should have ownership of and access to their cultural epistemologies. The NTEU, as a union for knowledge and learning, respects these knowledges and believes Australia must do more to celebrate and acknowledge these timeless systems.