Podcast brings Indigenous people across the world closer
The US Consul General Mike Kleine and his entourage visited the Larrakia Hosts shop yesterday to acknowledge the Parallel Heart podcast created in 2020. The six-part podcast explores the similarities and differences of two Indigenous groups who sit on the opposite sides of the world. Set in Darwin and Anchorage in the US, the pod cast showcases Larrakia people and the Dena’ina people.
Same same but different
Covering topics like maintaining culture, storytelling, land rights, maintaining culture, caring for country, seasons and the impact of colonisation it is amazing how similar the two groups are despite being so far away.
David Kurnoth from Larrakia Nation was the cultural liaison for the project and also appeared in the series. “After we listened to the Traditional Owners from Anchorage we were absolutely blown away because we never though our lives would be so similar. We were shocked that our culture, our history even the current issues we are facing are so similar”.
Sister Cities program aims to increase understanding
Larrakia Nation was asked to be a part of the Parallel Hearts podcast by the Darwin City Council as part of their Sister City program between Anchorage and Darwin. The podcast was designed to increase understanding, knowledge and appreciation of Indigenous culture.
When listening to the responses of people who participated in the project and the many who have listened to the podcast, it is clear a better understanding of life between the two Indigenous groups was achieved. “We are very fortunate when we listened to the recordings to learn how similar we were as First Nations people. We don’t own the land, the land owns us, we hunt around our seasons and rely on our seasons and especially in our customs and the way that we are” said Jeaneen McLennan as she presented Mike with a of Parallel Hearts poster signed by all the Larrakia stars who participated.
Never heard a Welcome to Country before
Visiting from Melbourne, The US Consul General was happy to come and be a part of this project which he related to on a personal level particularly around acknowledging Traditional Owners in the US.
“Where I grew up just outside Washington DC, I never heard an acknowledgment of country and this is troubling. In Australia I hear acknowledgment of the traditional custodians and beautiful Welcome to Country singing. I had never heard that back home”. Mike went on to say being in Australia has raised a lot of questions about the traditional owners of the land he calls home.
He also talked about his own surprise at the similarities between the Larrakia and Dena’ina people given how far apart they are. “I got to this point where I was listening from the Larrakia side and the Dena’ina side going back and forth talking about the seasons, culture, young people trying to learn language and the old people trying to pass down the traditions. I lost track of who was talking because the situations and the conversations were so similar. If you switched magpie geese and salmon, they are almost identical”.
Larrakia star performers
There were eight Larrakia women and men from a range of ages involved in the project. Each telling their story about topics important to them.
- Kay Vilaflor
- Nicole Brown
- Jeanneen Mclennan
- Dorothea Fejo
- Lynette Fejo
- David Kurnoth
- Patricia Kurnoth
- Joe Raymond
Find episodes here
Episode 1 – Introduction
Episode 2 – Maintaining culture
Episode 3 – This is our land
Episode 4 – Caring for country
Episode 5 – Seasons
Episode 6 – History
Larrakia Nation is proud to have been involved in this project, and look forward to using our stories more in the future to create relationships with other First Nations people around the world.