COVID has forced organisers to scale back many of this year's planned NAIDOC Week activities in Orange but there'll still be an opportunity for the community to get involved in the celebrations.
Two giant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags have been painted on the grass roof of the Orange Regional Museum and banners erected around Orange's streets to mark the start of celebrations in the city, which run from October 29 to November 6.
From Friday, the museum will host 'Heal Country!' a display that ties in with this year's NAIDOC Week theme.
"It's really looking at bringing an awareness of Country and of the First Nations People that have been on this continent and lived and thrived for over 40,000 years," said Orange NAIDOC Week chairman Gerald Power of the theme.
Developed with the Orange NAIDOC Week Committee, the museum display features Indigenous-led land regeneration and environmental education programs as well as traditional cultural practices that continue to inform custodianship of Country.
Local business Indigenous Cultural Adventures, the Dyiramaalang dance group and Wiradjuri elder Neil Ingram feature.
On Monday, the official NAIDOC opening ceremony will be held at the Winhanganha Aboriginal Learning Centre at TAFE NSW's Orange campus.
Mr Power says the invite-only ceremony will be livestreamed on the NAIDOC Week Celebrations - Orange NSW Facebook page so the wider community can participate.
It will also be recorded and uploaded to YouTube so those who can't tune in due to work or other commitments can view it later.
The ceremony will include a Welcome to Country by Uncle Neil Ingram, a Smoking Ceremony by Doug Sutherland and a speech on this year's theme, Heal Country, by Wiradjuri elder Aunty Alice Williams.
Then on Tuesday, the NAIDOC Week committee has organised to have lunch delivered to local elders.
"We're providing a beautiful meal that the elders have chosen and that will be delivered around to their homes," said Mr Power.
"Due to COVID and everything else we requested that, so if the elders and their families just want to have a gathering they can.
"They couldn't come together but we'll definitely make them comfortable in their homes with their family and make sure they are respected with a beautiful meal."
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