The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) is proud to publish a new book from Napranum Community, We Look, We Find representing the first time a children’s picture book featuring Thaynakwith language has ever been commercially published.
With bright illustrations created by women and children from Napranum Early Childhood Centre, this book is a delightful story about the importance of being on Country and the animals that can be found on the land. The book draws much knowledge and influence from the language dictionary within Thanakupi’s Guide to Language and Culture, written by Community Elder Thanakupi.
Chris, the Manager of the Napranum Parents and Learning (PAL) group, explained that Thanakupi was a renowned -ceramic artist, educator, linguist and Elder of the Napranum Community that helped establish the first preschool and was one of the first preschool teachers in Napranum.
She was the last fluent speaker of Thaynakwith, and spent much time documenting and passing down knowledge for the next generation.
Thanakupi’s passion and teachings significantly influenced We Look, We Find, and it is the hope of the Napranum Community that this book will help to keep her legacy alive.
“As a proud Indigenous woman, Thanakupi taught the Community that language is a part of you and you should be proud of that,” said Trish, a Director of the Napranum PaL Group.
“With the kids, learning language is their cultural right. It is their heritage to be exposed to their language and to know their language. If it is not spoken regularly, it then becomes lost. So to keep that language alive, and practised in children's books is one of the best ways to get it out there.”
The book will also inspire parents to tell their stories and teach their language to children in the Community.
“The language packs that we send out tofamilies reminds them of the language words and culture. Children’s parents and grandparents get on board; they remember these words and tell stories about when they were young and went out bush and it keeps going on and on,” says Relena, Coordinator - of the PaL program.
We Look, We Find is a point of pride for everyone involved in the production of the story. It is the first time that a commercial children’s storybook features Thanynakwith language.
“We are immensely proud to have supported Napranum Community to create and publish this remarkable book,” says ILF CEO Ben Bowen. “Continuing Thanakupi’s legacy and keeping Thaynakwith alive for the next generation of speakers is an incredibly important undertaking and we offer our heartfelt congratulations to all involved.”
Relena also hopes that the book will be enjoyed not only by the Napranum Community, but people all across Australia.
“It creates a sense of awareness for all people and a respect to the Indigenous language. It is an inclusive way of showcasing it”, said Relena.
We Look, We Find is available now on the ILF website, via shop.ilf.org.au.