It is the everyday environmental experiences in schools that reflect their ethos, values and commitments. This is evidenced through the resources in the school.
If schools reflect Western values, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives are omitted, then it is less likely that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (including students) will engage in school processes.
Aside from human resources, physical resources will help teachers to develop appropriate learning experiences and active classroom contexts that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives.
Relevant and appropriate teaching materials are required for quality inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources. Funding for these should come from various areas of the school and should not be limited to one-off commonwealth funded programs. Each curriculum area of the school needs to maintain processes that focus on the purchasing of resources and building skills at a subject-specific level.
Resource allocation within school budgets should be one component of annual operations in the school. The library resources should also focus on an ongoing purchase of key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander media including National Indigenous Times, Koori Mail, Torres Strait Islander Times, and Deadly Vibe etc.
Developing a keeping place in the school for ‘local’ artefacts and local knowledge including local language resources and recordings will also assist.
Communities can use these areas of the school to deposit information and share cultural perspectives through the use of new technologies.
Many schools have Indigenous knowledge centres within school libraries, or separate cultural centres or keeping places.
Indigenous Schooling Support Units (ISSUs) based in Ipswich/Inala and Cairns have libraries and resource centres with a wide variety of artefacts, books, videos, DVDs, posters, computer programs, puzzles, dolls, games and magazines that are available for school use. Librarians can also provide advice about the purchase of these materials.
All students should have access to these resources. The State Library of Queensland also provides resources to Indigenous Knowledge Centres across Queensland.