In the remote West Australian town of Fitzroy Crossing fishing, hunting and a connection to land continues to be a part of everyday life.
To preserve traditional language a pair of local Indigenous writers have penned children’s stories to teach young people of these customs.
Emma Bear and Marshia Cook partnered with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation to produce bilingual picture books to celebrate cultural practice in the area.
“I wanted to write this story for my family; for all Indigenous people going out on Country and hunting for bush tucker,” Ms Bear said of her book Purlka ngamaji Kakaji or Big Fat Mummy Goanna.
“It is our language and our Dreaming.”
Purlka ngamaji Kakaji tells the story of a family finding a large goanna on their hunting trip, teaching their young ones to leave the animal to lay her eggs and be patience so her babies can grow and be hunted later on.
For Ms Cook, the chance to include her children in producing the book presented as a perfect opportunity.
Tauma and Cazarus worked with their mum to contribute to the illustrations for Jarramapa.
The story follows and old woman with a unique way of catching the yabbies the book takes it name from.
Ms Cook hopes it will instill an enthusiasm to engage with country and culture.
“I wrote this book to encourage kids to read more books, and to sit with the Elder while they’re around,” Ms Cook said.
“To know who they are, where they come from, to know the language and to speak it.”
Written in Walmajarri and English, Purlka ngamaji Kakaji and Jarrampa allow anyone the chance to grow their language knowledge.
For those wanting a different approach, QR codes on the back of each copy provide a reading from the authors.
The books are targeted to children aged three and up.
“We are proud and excited to publish these beautiful children’s picture books, featuring stories and language that the authors and Community members want to share.” ILF chief executive Ben Bowen said.
“Every school, library and personal bookshelf should have a copy of these incredible books.”
Foundation lifetime ambassador Alison Lester and fellow children’s author Jane Goodwin helped produce the books in a workshop with Ms Bear and Ms Cook.
Purlka ngamaji Kakaji and Jarrampa are available for purchase in store or at the ILF website.