My Culture Story is aware that it has a responsibility to follow cultural protocols in publishing content. We believe that there is no greater exercise of cultural sensitivity than to have Indigenous people being the author of their own stories and opinions within the cultural protocols we are taught. In addition, we note that different clans have different protocols and accordingly, we observe the following additional protocols to the above Editorial Intent when publishing content.
1. Accessing Indigenous land
Permission is required to access Indigenous lands and communities, particularly if you do not belong to the country you are entering, and intend to record and capture images of sites, cultural objects and ceremonies. All authors for My Culture Story are required to observe proper protocol by seeking a meeting with the elders of the relevant community to seek permission to be on country, seek permission to observe and record and advise the purpose of such observance and recording.
2. Language, naming and references
The use of language, names and references need to be in a culturally appropriate manner with permission sought from the subject, ie. when interviewing an Indigenous person that will be the subject of an article, they should be asked how they wish to be referred to.
Where possible, when using the Indigenous word or name, the spelling used should be the local dialect’s spelling of the word being used.
3. Sorry Business
Sorry Business varies in different communities and regions. There is often sensitivity to seeing and hearing the name, image or voice of Indigenous people who have died. The naming and depiction of recently deceased people is often prohibited under customary law and the mourning period may last for weeks, months or years. There may also be a preferred way of referring to the deceased person. My Culture Story and authors who contribute to the platform are mindful to observe local Sorry Business protocols to ensure all respect is shown to the deceased and the community that they belong to.
My Culture Story is aware that most reliable source for advice on local community practice and how to refer to the deceased person is the family of the deceased, or the elders of the deceased’s Indigenous community and will make respectful contact in advance of any publishing of content in respect of the deceased.