Children’s books bring traditional language lessons to Fitzroy Crossing youth

22nd February 2022

In the remote West Australian town of Fitzroy Crossing fishing, hunting and a connection to land continues to be a part of everyday life.

To preserve traditional language a pair of local Indigenous writers have penned children’s stories to teach young people of these customs.

Emma Bear and Marshia Cook partnered with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation to produce bilingual picture books to celebrate cultural practice in the area.

Purlka ngamaji Kakaji cover. image provided

“I wanted to write this story for my family; for all Indigenous people going out on Country and hunting for bush tucker,” Ms Bear said of her book Purlka ngamaji Kakaji or Big Fat Mummy Goanna.

“It is our language and our Dreaming.”

Purlka ngamaji Kakaji tells the story of a family finding a large goanna on their hunting trip, teaching their young ones to leave the animal to lay her eggs and be patience so her babies can grow and be hunted later on.

For Ms Cook, the chance to include her children in producing the book presented as a perfect opportunity.

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