Ngarrindjeri Yannarumi: Educating for Transformation and Indigenous Nation (Re)building

Living reference work entry


Yannarumi is a Ngarrindjeri concept that can be translated as “speaking lawfully as country.” It is fundamentally connected to understandings of peaceful relations and wellbeing. This chapter is a case study of Indigenous Nationhood. It explains how Ngarrindjeri use the Yannarumi concept to understand and assess the changing conditions through which they strive to educate the postcolonial public, and thereby negotiate a healthy life-giving relationship with Australian governments and other non-Indigenous agencies. The discussion is focused on contemporary forms of Ngarrindjeri public pedagogy and engagements with the settler State’s education systems. In order to speak lawfully and authoritatively for the wellbeing of their citizens and Country, and to exercise the responsibilities that come with the culturally fundamental interconnection between people, lands, waters, and all living things, Ngarrindjeri leaders have developed forms of political literacy, education, and life-long learning that strengthen Ngarrindjeri capacity to create a healthy future as an Indigenous nation. This aspirational strategy is influenced and supported by experiences and knowledge from other Indigenous Nations in Australia, New Zealand, and North America. This chapter considers the potential of the Ngarrindjeri Yannarumi methodology to transform colonizing curriculum and assessment frameworks of school-based education that restrict Indigenous success by devaluing and negating Indigenous knowledges. It explains how Yannarumi principles can create new curriculum and assessment guidelines that align with Ngarrindjeri values and goals aimed at securing wellbeing for people, Country, and all living things.


Australian colonization Aboriginal sovereignty Education Governance Indigenous Nation re-building Postcolonial reconciliation Public pedagogy Self-determination Social transformation 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office of Indigenous Strategy and EngagementFlinders University of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sharon Nelson-Barber
    • 1
  • Zanette Johnson
    • 2
  1. 1.WestEd,CaliforniaUSA
  2. 2.Independent ResearcherHawaiiUSA

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