Retracing elder’s footsteps

MANDURAH man Cedric Jacobs and his granddaughter Kezia Jacobs-Smith are heading to Geneva, Switzerland in June as delegates to a United Nations Indigenous people symposium.

It will be the second symposium for Indigenous Peoples at the UN: from the Experience of the First Delegates to the Empowerment of the Young Generations.

�I�m totally honoured to have even been given the opportunity,� Ms Jacobs-Smith said.

�My grandfather Cedric has always been so proud of his representation of Aboriginal people as a delegate to the United Nations Geneva Convention back in 1977.

�It will be such a privilege to retrace his footsteps with him.�

The symposium will bring together the elders, both male and female, who participated in the historic conference of 1977/1981, and will make use of the methodology of oral history.

Indigenous youth will participate to establish bridges of intergenerational communication for a series of histories.

Ms Jacobs-Smith said the symposium was important because Aboriginal people had been in this country for tens of thousands of years.

�Our culture is known to be the oldest surviving culture in the world,� she said.

�However, sadly our own government fails to see the value in our traditions and way of life.

�I will learn as much as I can, record it and bring it back so our people can use it to help us move forward.�