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How has studying how to work effectively with Aboriginal people changed your understanding of your future role as a professional and to what extent has it equipped you to work with all clients and their families.



Health promotion refers to the process of increasing capability of the people to control health related factors and improve health. However, I think that studying aboriginal people can be useful in achieving greater degree of health promotion. The current study is concerned with the evaluation of aboriginal people along with their key traits & characteristics. The study further discusses the need or importance of studying aboriginal people in respect of a profession in the health promotion field in future.

Discussion on studying aboriginal people:

The original natives of North America and the decedents of these original people are known as Aboriginal people. Métis, North American Indian or First nations and Inuit or Inuk are the three segments of Aboriginals that are commonly recognized. The existence of the aboriginal people is distributed in the various regions from Arctic to the Southern Pacific area. The aboriginals are the original dwellers of any geographic location which later got segregated into countries. These groups dwelled even before people from different socio economic culture invaded the area and dominated the natives by the means of settlement, occupation and conquest over different means. As per recent estimation by Gwynne et al (2016) more than 370 million indigenous people live across the world. The popular groups of aboriginals that stay in different countries even in recent days are Aymaras who stay in Bolivia, Mayas at Guatemala, Lakota in USA, the Saami group in northern Europe, Aleutians and Inuit in the circumpolar area, Torres Strait Islanders and Aborigines in Australia and the Maori group at New Zealand. Several studies related to the socio cultural diversity of the indigenous people are still being done across the globe. Identification can be a better approach than definition to understand the aboriginals according to the United Nations. The indigenous people are called by variety of names in the different countries or geographic locations since long. Adivasi, Tribal people, ethnic troops, Janajati, natives, first nations and others are such names. The groups are also segmented as per the selected occupation and geographical existences like nomads, hunters, people of the hills, peasants and alike.

Social Structure of the aboriginal people:

The social structure of the indigenous people can be broadly segmented in three types as below:

Structure based on geographical location:

The tribes of more than five hundred natives sharing common language is segregated in several groups comprising about 10 to 20 people called horde. The hordes hunt together and gather food together in some specific geographical location. Each horde has few families who again stay together till the whole tribe travels to another location.

Totemic or religious Structuring:

The Aboriginals are segmented into two moieties based on concept of ancestral beings from the time the groups were created. Each of the moieties have different selected natural phenomenon that includes trees, animals, celestial bodies as auspicious. The people as well as the moiety are related to these auspicious items called totems.

Structure based on Kinship: The complete tribe is interconnected by kinship. In this context, Brimblecombe et al (2013) stated that every aboriginal is related to each other by some or the other relationship. The structure moves on the strength and responsibilities of the relationships. This mesh helps to define who can be responsible for protecting the children in absence of parents, who will be taking care of old people, who can marry whom and even defines obligations for misdeeds or debts of one person on another. Even when a non-aboriginal person is included in the aboriginal tribe, the person has to be first related to some aboriginal person before being accepted in the group to maintain the kinship structure of the tribal society.

Lifestyle of the aboriginal people:

Aboriginal people are more accustomed to nomadic life. The nomads travel from one geographical location to another and depend solely on the natural resources for existence. The tribal people understand nature and environment the best and can understand the simple way to lead life with balanced diets. This capability assists the tribes to exist in harsh environmental conditions with ease. The nomadic groups do not gather possessions. The change of season can be understood and these groups either travel to another suitable place or some hordes of tribes also settle in some areas and make appropriate arrangement for food, clothes and shelter.


Every human being needs to get shelter to protect themselves from the scorching heat of the sun, harsh weather, heavy downpour or chilling cold. The aborigines also need protection from the wild animals and poisonous insects as they dwell in the forest majority areas. Temporary structures are made by the indigenous people for shelter as the tribes travel from one place to other and need to reconstruct shelters according to the requirement of the new geographic location. In this context, Baum and Fisher (2014) studied that the dwelling shelters of the indigenous people may be some tree with hollow, tree huts, bark huts, rounded huts, windbreaker or some simple sleeping platform. The huge trunks of trees with hollows are used by the aboriginals to protect themselves from harsh weather conditions. Simple raised platforms on four post-like stout trunk of tree with thatched platform made of twigs, hay can be a comfortable escape from wild animals and insects infested forest bed. Such thatches on trees are also made to form tree huts. The tribal people also make tent like structures with strong bark of trees and the roof top of such tents are covered with hay, twigs, coconut leaves to protect from rain and extreme weather conditions. Wind breakers are made in front of the huts so that fire can be lit up throughout the night without getting blown off by the wind. Dome shaped huts of clays also act as shelter for these people.


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