These descriptions from Yaegl artist Frances Belle Parker (dyindadesigns.com.au) explain how she has interpreted the seven recovery capitals in creating the icons used in the ReCap project, with input from Euahlayi man and ANU academic Bhiamie Williamson.
Social and Emotional Wellbeing is portrayed in the Social Capital Icon. To ensure we are looking after our social and emotional wellbeing we need to connect from within. The image features three figures which depict connecting with others.
The dots show the individual journey for each as well as a shared journey. The linear markings show the bond within Indigenous communities and a sense of resilience enabling us to get through anything.
The Cultural Capital Icon represents the connection between nature and people, as Indigenous people our stories are embedded in the landscape. Just as tree roots grow deeply, we as the First Nations people, our roots and sense of belonging as a person are also embedded into the lands of our ancestors.
We feel pain when we lose a piece of our culture such as a scarred tree, or a place, animal or plant from our creation stories. The tree and the figure are connected, not just on the surface but also below.
Connection with Country is pivotal for all Indigenous people. We have an underlying knowledge in regards to caring for Country. The symbolism used in this icon depicts a tree at the top of a hill, the knowledge and stories held by nature is one which Indigenous people have acknowledged and respected for years. Underneath the tree, protected by the roots are the people and these people are the caretakers, the knowledge holders, the storytellers. The markings represent our Indigenous stories and Songlines, and the generations of our Indigenous people who have a deep spiritual connection and a responsibility to care for the land and its resources.
Diverse economies are symbolised through the Financial Capital icon. The icon features a dollar sign at the centre which shows an outreach for all other elements which may be affected during disaster relief.
The other elements represent those that may be required during times of need such as access to health, shelter, family assistance, relationships, food and outreach. The linear markings depict the pathways provided for equal access to services. During times of disaster relief, people pitch in to help, making sure no one goes without.
As Archie Roach says ‘The spirit’s in the land’. As Indigenous peoples, we are resilient, adapting to our environment, built or natural.
This icon shows shapes that represent the built environment. Under these shapes are figures of people within the community. It is these people who help establish that sense of belonging – we say a home is made up by the people in it and not the building itself. The linear marks at the bottom offer a broad concept in regards to other built infrastructure, e.g. water, roads. The dots represent our journey as Indigenous people, navigating our way through the processes involved.
Self-determination is the symbolism for political capital. Indigenous people have continued to grow and gain strength through our own self-determination and leadership. This is despite the historical and ongoing oppression of our people. We will continue to strengthen our self-determination and thrive in who we are, advocating for the many whose voices aren’t heard, fighting for justice and inclusion.
The icon shows a figure standing up, taking a leadership position. The linear marks represent the adversities we have had to overcome throughout the years. The dots represent the journey we are on as Indigenous people, finding and taking hold of our own self-determination.
Our underlying Indigenous knowledge and connections with each other make up a large portion of our identity and is one of our greatest strengths. The large figure represents the Elder who is the knowledge holder. The three smaller figures represent the passing on of that knowledge to future generations. The linear markings represent the bloodlines of the people. Our bloodlines are symbolic of our connection to place. There is a focus on the strengths of Indigenous people, our resilience, our way of healing and our practice and knowledge of caring for country.
This resource has been developed through the Recovery Capitals (ReCap) project.
Artwork on this page by Oslo Davis and Frances Belle Parker.