Name-Calling: A Dual Naming Policy

By Michaela Ann Cameron

Founder, Director and Editor of St. John’s Online

A policy adapted from “Name-Calling” in Stealing the Turtle’s Voice (2018)

Abstract: This essay discusses St. John’s Online’s editorial policy of ‘dual naming’ places as a Reconciliation initiative. Topics covered include; navigating the contentious issue of Name-Calling in a project devoted to a state listed heritage site, which has a diverse group of stakeholders with conflicting perspectives and all of whom must feel included and respected; the revitalisation of Aboriginal soundways and Language by ‘sounding,’ which in this case typically occurs via audiation; and the acknowledgement of First Peoples’ original custodianship whilst also reconciling their different ways of knowing, experiencing and naming Country with that of the newcomers.

NOTE: Since this essay was originally published, the project’s dual naming policy has been extended to other minority languages, including Māori or te reo (the language) of Aotearoa (New Zealand), Gaeilge (Irish), Gàidhlig / Gaelic (Scottish) and Cymraeg (Welsh).

Great care must be taken when deciding on the names we give to and use for others. Names do not just refer to other people, places, and things; their power does not even end with their ability to define and assign value by venerating or denigrating. For names also have the power to call and draw others towards us — or to repel.

In non-western worlds with a far more ‘inclusive category of personhood,’ name-calling takes on even greater power.[1] Among the Algonquian- and Iroquoian-speaking Peoples of the east coast of North America, for instance, plants, trees, rocks, fishnets, architectural spaces, meteorological phenomena, deceased ancestors in the Land of the Dead, other-than-human elders from cultural stories, and basically everything else in Creation traditionally possess a spiritual element and the potential for sentience and agency.[2] Thus, sounding the name of any of these diverse, sentient beings in this densely ‘peopled cosmos’ may conjure them into the present time and space where, for good or ill, they can then act and influence events.[3] By reciting a myth about caribou, for example, a person can find caribou on the hunt the following day, in which case ‘myths are transformative and can be used to create history.’[4] Consequently, such empowered persons must only be called intentionally with care, honour, and respect so, often, caution is taken to avoid ‘invit[ing] an unwanted presence’ by deliberately not sounding a name.[5] To this end, cultural stories or ‘myths’ about powerful other-than-human persons are traditionally told only at night in winter months when these empowered, sentient beings are likely to be too sluggish or fast asleep and unable to hear the humans speaking about them. In other seasons, these beings are discussed only using pseudonyms, for example, Innu hunters say ‘mant’ rather than the generic word for bear, ‘mashk,’ which on many occasions should be avoided, while others employ veiled ‘you-know-who’ type references like, ‘the one who is down there’ or ‘that person, that guy.’[6] And among Australia’s First Peoples, there are the ‘Songlines’: the ‘Footprints of the Ancestors’ that chart the landscape.[7] As Bruce Chatwin describes: ‘Aboriginal Creation myths tell of the legendary totemic beings who had wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of everything that crossed their path—birds, animals, plants, rocks, waterholes—and so singing the world into existence.’[8]

Given the conjuring power traditionally associated with sounding a name among First Peoples, it is sobering to realise the most common names for themselves and their places have been imposed on them by others—often without care, sensitivity, or respect—while the names they have given to themselves and their places are in most cases avoided.

New Holland, Terra Australis, New South Wales, 1794, Samuel Dunn, A General Map of the World, Thomas Kitchin, General Atlas, Name-Calling, Dual Naming Policy, St. John's Cemetery Project, St. John's Cemetery, Parramatta
New Holland or Terra Australis detail from Samuel Dunn, “A General Map of the World, or Terraqueous Globe with all the New Discoveries and Marginal Delineations, Containing the Most Interesting Particulars in the Solar, Starry and Mundane System, 1794,” in Thomas Kitchin, Kitchin’s General Atlas, describing the Whole Universe: being a complete collection of the most approved maps extant; corrected with the greatest care, and augmented from the last edition of D’Anville and Robert with many improvements by other eminent geographers, engraved on Sixty-Two plates, comprising Thirty Seven maps., (London: Laurie & Whittle, 1797). Courtesy of Geographicus Rare Antique Maps via Wikimedia Commons.

What worlds are we honouring and conjuring, then, by sounding names like ‘America’ or ‘Australia,’ which have been monologically imposed on traditional lands and First Peoples by the newcomers? ‘Terra Australis’  was a ‘southern land’ imagined in antiquity and formally applied to this land as ‘Australia’ in the early 1800s, while ‘America’ is derived from the Latin ‘Americus’ after the Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci, who in the sixteenth century correctly identified as an entirely ‘New World’ what Columbus had mistaken for the east coast of Asia. Aye, there’s the rub! Latin: the language of the famed conquerors the Romans, no less. The words ‘America,’ ‘Australia,’ ‘New Holland,’ ‘New France,’ ‘New England,’ and so on, belong to the lifeworld of Western Peoples; a world in which land is a physical mass that can be discovered, mapped, measured, recorded, claimed for a distant monarch, and named. Physically, these are the same spaces the original inhabitants of these lands inhabited, which is how the anachronistic imposition of these names on these lands even prior to the arrival of Europeans has been justified. But the original inhabitants’ worlds as they experienced them were not purely or even predominantly physical, but spiritual. True, the colonists of the lands they conceived of as ‘America’ and ‘Australia’ were also spiritual and thus experienced those worlds as both material and spiritual realities. However, they projected their own spiritual reality on to the lands—a practice reflected in the toponyms, i.e. placenames, they imposed. In fact, as my doctoral thesis Stealing the Turtle’s Voice (2018) demonstrated, in the ‘Americas’ European newcomers did not even restrict themselves to spiritually populating their ‘New World’ with their Christian beings, God, Satan, angels, and saints; they also included many of the divine beings and places of classical antiquity, undoubtedly to create an illusion that their presence in their new environment was more deeply rooted in time than it actually was. In Nouvelle France on the northeast coast of North America, for example, the first French colony was called ‘Acadia,’ a name that conjured Arkadia, the Greek ‘idyllic place’ of plenty and home to classical mythical beings Hermes and Apollo—deities who would subsequently have an enormous acoustic influence of their own in the ‘New World’ of ‘America.’ Once ‘Acadia’ existed as a physical and spiritual reality, other mythical pre-Christian deities like the Muses and the Roman sea god Neptune were soon called to the newcomers’ minds and, hence, their names resounded throughout the place in the colony’s first theatrical production, Théâtre de Neptune.[9]

Matthew Flinders
Between 1801 and 1803, Matthew Flinders traced the coasts of the Australian continent and produced the first complete map of the continent. Matthew Flinders, ca. 1800 – watercolour miniature portrait, MIN 52 / FL996598, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales.
Matthew Flinders, General Chart of Terra Australis or Australia, New Holland, 1804, St. John's Cemetery Project, Name-Calling, Dual Naming Policy
After completing his circumnavigation and the first complete map of the continent, in 1804 Matthew Flinders pushed for what had previously been known as Terra Australis and New Holland to be henceforth known as ‘Australia,’ including all of those names on his “General Chart of Terra Australis or Australia,” in A voyage to Terra Australis: undertaken for the purpose of completing the discovery of that vast country, and prosecuted in the years 1801, 1802, and 1803, in His Majesty’s ship the Investigator …, M Q980.1/37A4-37A5 / FL3750595, State Library of New South Wales.

Unfortunately, the solution is not as simple as opting for an equivalent indigenous name for an entire landmass when the original inhabitants are linguistically and culturally diverse, as they are in Australia, because to settle on one name would favour one group over another. In Australia, a general term that bypasses the issue of diverse Aboriginal languages is ‘Country,’ which despite being in English refers to both the physical space and the Aboriginal cultural, psychological, spiritual connections to the landscape—the ‘sacred geography’—of each group. We can therefore bring that sacred geography and all its spiritual history in to the present by sounding the names of the original custodians’ specific regions; for example, ‘Dharug Country,’ or even more specifically Burramattagal Country, Toogagal Country, and Bidjigal Country, etc. Similarly, for many of North America’s First Peoples, oral tradition teaches that their world, Mother Earth, was created on the back of a Great Turtle and traditional storytellers refer to it as ‘the place of the Great Turtle’s back.’[10] To refer to North America as ‘the place of the Great Turtle’s back’ or ‘Turtle Island,’ therefore, as myself and others have, is to conjure the spiritual reality of that place into the present and to replace Italian explorers like Columbus and Vespucci as well as Greco-Roman and Christian deities with other-than-human elders like the Great Turtle, Mother Earth, Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon, Old Toad-Woman, and the Horned Underwater Serpent.[11]

Simply as a means of negotiating a clear path through all of this nomenclature, scholars have understandably still preferred to use exonyms, citing that they are at least more familiar to the wider audience.[12] Yet, again, what price do we pay for taking the easier path? We miss an opportunity to sound—and thereby revitalise and/or maintain—Language. First Peoples all over the world face the loss of their soundways generally and the threat of language death specifically. This is not always because the languages themselves are no longer intact but because younger generations are not learning and keeping languages ‘alive at the level of the human voice’ via everyday use or by maintaining their oral tradition.[13]

Recently, there have been a number of initiatives in colonised lands aiming to get native languages ‘shouting out from everywhere.’[14] In Australia in 1993, Uluru / Ayers Rock was officially dual named. In 2017, the annual Sydney Festival featured language classes in the Sydney CBD to ‘reawaken…the Aboriginal languages of Sydney’; the National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) theme was also ‘Our Languages Matter’ and offered free language workshops; and Muru View, a free, online interactive tool from the State Library of New South Wales, which presents Aboriginal place names in Australia on a Google Maps street view platform, launched.[15] Dual naming policies have also been adopted in various places as ‘an act of reconciliation’; for example, Dawes Point in Sydney was formally dual named Dawes Point–Tar-ra in 2002 by the New South Wales Government’s Geographic Names Board, as were fourteen placenames in Lutruwita / Tasmania since the Aboriginal and Dual Naming Policy was adopted there in 2012, while in Newcastle, councillors ‘unanimously voted’ in 2013 to endorse an application to the Geographical Names Board for giving eight geographical features Aboriginal names as a ‘reconciliation initiative.’[16] Although the Lord Mayor at the time cautioned that ‘there could be no end to this’ and that this should be isolated to ‘sacred sites,’ by 2018, Newcastle City Council began trialling dual-naming signage with Smart City technology featuring an inbuilt sensor that is triggered when people walk past and plays a recording of the original placename being pronounced.[17] The former Newcastle Lord Mayor’s caution was unnecessary—after merely a few repetitions of the dual names, the Aboriginal placenames quickly become familiar to Australian Anglophones who have, after all, read, heard and spoken (for their whole lives) other Aboriginal placenames that the colonists inconsistently chose to retain rather than rename. There is no better example of this quick acquisition than ‘Uluru’ itself, which after less than three decades since its dual naming is now completely identifiable by its Aboriginal name alone, while ‘Ayers Rock’ seems like something from a far more distant time than merely the early 1990s.

As an ethnohistorian and an aural historian who is aware of the cultural significance of name-calling as a sonic event and the urgent need for language revitalisation, I am duty-bound to write and sound the names in this project that honour and conjure the people and their places best: the names they have given themselves (their endonyms). Indeed, turning up the volume on the individual groups’ own names is, frankly, essential to what I have called ‘remastering the record’ by turning down the volume on the ‘white noise’ that has traditionally dominated the historical record and prevented us from hearing First Peoples and their sounds on their own terms.[18] As part of the ‘remastering’ process, I have personally used the endonyms for the Aboriginal groups and placenames in my own contributions to the St. John’s Cemetery Project, and as editor of the project I have applied this policy to all the essays submitted by other contributors. When an encounter with First Peoples involves a single, identifiable group, the endonym is preferred over the more general options ‘Aboriginal People’ or ‘First Peoples,’ which undermines ‘their variousness,’ to use Inga Clendinnen’s phrase.[19] In the event that the group is unknown, however, because historians are at the mercy of colonial informants’ who either may not have had the ability to positively identify specific groups they encountered or simply did not care enough to do so because they preferred to show their apathy by using a homogeneous or disparaging term, ‘Aboriginal People’ or ‘First Peoples’ are used interchangeably, with ‘People’ capitalised as a mark of respect. A lack of standardised spelling in the records compounds the difficulties of positively identifying a group or place. The newcomers were the first to record on the page words that had only ever been spoken, so a lack of standardisation is common. In fact, even individuals were often inconsistent in their spelling, for example Bediagal or Bidjigal; Warrane, also known as War-ran, Weé-rong, Warrang; Toongabbie versus Toon-gab-be, Toongabbee, Toongabbe, for just a few examples. These were names that the newcomers learnt by ear, so it is possible they were simply not as aurally sensitive as their peers and did not have a natural talent for languages, impeding their ability to accurately render what were, for them, alien-sounding polysyllabic words on the page. Alternatively, changes to spelling may reflect an individual’s progress as his language skills developed, leading him to revise how he recorded the sounds of the word on the page. Or perhaps the recorder had a hearing impairment which caused him to hear a word imperfectly in the first place: infections now treated with medication would have been untreatable in this period and could have led to permanent hearing loss. We must also bear in mind the recorders were Anglophones, for this means they, like anyone, did experience a kind of cultural deafness, insofar as their ears were accustomed to hearing sounds that were common to their mother tongue and were less able to physically hear sounds excluded from the sonic vocabulary of their natal auditory culture.[20] This culturally determined ‘selective hearing’ means whole phonemes simply did not exist in their respective worlds and the tongue could not reproduce what the hearing apparatus (the ear and also the brain) could not hear.[21] As Jackelin Troy and Michael Walsh note:

it is quite rare for a non-specialist to pronounce the word <Dharawal> accurately. The initial sound, spelled as <dh>, is common enough in Australian Aboriginal languages and is referred to as a lamino-dental stop/plosive. It has a similar pronunciation to the <d> in the English word <width>. We would expect that only specialists in the study of Australian Aboriginal languages would give this pronunciation for the initial sound – everyone else would pronounce it as a ‘normal d’ as in <dog>. Even when the specialist gives the ‘correct’ pronunciation most people are not going to notice the difference. Although this and the … term <Dharug> may show <dh> they are likely to be pronounced as though they had been spelled <Darawal> and <Darug>. Considering next the vowels, these are usually pronounced by non-specialists in a way that, rarely if ever, coincides with the original. The vowels in <Dharawal> would very likely have been pronounced like the vowel in the English word <but> as would the first vowel of <Dharug>. The second vowel of <Dharug> would probably have been pronounced like the vowel in the English word <put>. The final sound of <Dharug> was probably ‘k’ as in the English word <rook> which is in fact a good written representation of the second syllable of this term…Phonologically there is no contrast between /k/ and /g/ in most Australian Aboriginal languages, so there is no need to reflect such a contrast in the spelling.[22]

Since ‘sound’ is ‘something [the] mind does,’ the fact that the endonyms included in St. John’s Cemetery Project are silently read on the website rather than spoken aloud does not undermine the aim of ‘sounding,’ because silent readers also experience the sound of words through the process of audiation—mentally hearing the sounds of the words as they read them.[23]

Dual Naming Policy, St. John's Cemetery Project, James Meehan, William Bligh, Plan of the two of Sydney in New South Wales, Warrang, Warrane, Sydney Cove, Woccanmagully, Farm Cove, Tarra, Dawes Point, Tobegully, Bennelong Point
Note the Aboriginal endonyms included on this 1807 map with the European exonyms, for example “Warrang” (i.e. Warrane, Sydney Cove), Woccanmagully (Farm Cove), Tobegully (Bennelong Point), and Tarra (Dawes Point). Detail of James Meehan and William Bligh, Plan of the town of Sydney in New South Wales, 31 October 1807, (Sydney: Government Printing Office, 1850). Courtesy of National Library of Australia.

A number of resources have proven indispensable to me in my mission to turn up the volume on Aboriginal placenames in the St. John’s Cemetery Project. First and foremost, Harold Koch and Luise Hercus (eds.), Aboriginal Placenames: Naming and Re-naming the Australian Landscape(Canberra: ANU E Press, 2009), which is available as an open access online text via the publisher ANU Press, particularly helped in the identification of Aboriginal placenames in Cadi (Sydney) and surrounding areas. Every so often, however, places farther afield that were not covered in Koch and Hercus were mentioned in St. John’s Cemetery Project essays, in which case online resources, including old newspaper articles and maps accessible via Trove, the New South Wales Government’s Geographic Names Board and AIATSIS Pathways Thesaurus for Indigenous languages and people, in addition to Council websites and online newspaper articles reporting on various local Councils’ efforts to adopt a dual naming policy in recent years, have also proven useful. A number of essays in the St. John’s Cemetery Project have ventured into Lutruwita (Van Diemen’s Land / Tasmania) and Aotearoa (New Zealand). N. J. B. Plomley’s Tasmanian Aboriginal Place Names (c.1991) has been used here in conjunction with various online websites, while in the case of Māori placenames, a number of different websites have been used to source the required names.

At the same time, since St. John’s Cemetery Project is devoted to a state listed heritage site (St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta), as project director and editor I also aim to adhere to guidelines set out by the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter, 2013. The Burra Charter’s definition of associations, meanings and interpretation, as well as Article 12: Participation, Article 13: Co-existence of Cultural Values, and Article 25: Interpretation, for example, are particularly relevant to choices regarding the terminology used in this project:

Article 1.15: Associations mean the connections that exist between people and a place.

Article 1.16: Meanings denote what a place signifies, indicates, evokes or expresses to people.

Article 1.17: Interpretation means all the ways of presenting the cultural significance of a place.

Article 12: Participation. Conservation, interpretation and management of a place should provide for the participation of people for whom the place has significant associations and meanings, or who have social, spiritual or other cultural responsibilities for the place.

Article 13: Co-existence of cultural values should always be recognised, respected and encouraged. This is especially important in cases where they conflict.

Article 25: Interpretation should enhance understanding and engagement, and be culturally appropriate.[24]

Put simply, the St. John’s Cemetery Project as a whole cannot politically align itself solely with either First Peoples or the newcomers, anymore than it can be exclusively pro- or anti-missionary intervention among non-Christians, (for but one relevant example)—doing so would emphasise the associations and meanings of the place for one group of stakeholders over the other and thereby exclude a group entitled to ‘participate’ in the heritage site.[25] As a cemetery, St. John’s is, after all, a sacred site to the descendants of the non-Aboriginal People buried there and, as such, they must also feel included and respected. Yet, even when both groups are included in the cemetery’s associated project, there remains an issue of ‘emphasis.’

While St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta is by no means an exclusively British, Protestant cemetery, with ethnically diverse people and many faiths represented among the formerly ‘general’ cemetery’s permanent citizens, the fact remains: there is an inherent quantitative bias to non-Aboriginal People in this European-style burial ground. By extension, then, the St. John’s Cemetery Project likewise contains an inherent European bias in terms of the sheer quantity of opportunities the cemetery—and, indeed, the surviving evidence—provides to tell European stories as opposed to those of non-western peoples. Those looking at the website and seeing an abundance of content on newcomers compared to the biographical content available on First Peoples or representatives of other non-western groups may be quick to conclude there is a ‘pro-colonial’ political agenda where there is none, rather than it simply being the result that, as a biographical database for the European burial ground, actually being buried at the cemetery or at least having a burial recorded in the parish of St. John’s burial register is a prerequisite for inclusion in the project. For example, we find only one (albeit highly significant) Aboriginal burial recorded in the St. John’s parish burial register; that of Dicky Bennelong who, just a few months prior to his passing, converted to Christianity at the original Wesleyan Chapel, which adjoined Centenary Square, Parramatta. And, even then, Dicky Bennelong’s grave is unmarked, its exact location unknown, due to the fact that the map for the burial plots of St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta are lost to us. He may or may not have been buried in the cemetery itself, although, as he was a Wesleyan convert we can say, at best, that he ‘most likely’ was buried there since other Wesleyans were interred at the cemetery in this period.[26] Other reasons for a quantitative imbalance may also be a result of the St. John’s Cemetery Project being laborious, time consuming and therefore ongoing—no visitor to the website devoted to this state heritage listed cemetery today is seeing a ‘finished product.’ To put into perspective the long-term nature of the process involved in uncovering the multiple layers of a single heritage site and telling all of its stories, the world heritage listed Hyde Park Barracks, which became a museum in 1980, has only just reopened in the past couple of months with Aboriginal voices included in its museum experience, after decades of focusing on the heritage site’s original purposes and telling the stories of the groups most obviously connected to the Barracks: European convicts and immigrants.[27] The quantity and selection of biographical subjects for the St. John’s Cemetery Project may be further restricted by current knowledge of the full array of potential stories ‘buried’ in St. John’s that provide opportunities to discuss cross-cultural encounters, and only further research in the future—which is contingent upon the availability of time, funding, and expertise—will be able to uncover those stories that are more deeply buried than others, to extend an apt analogy. In individual essays, there may also be a lack of documentary evidence of a selected biographical subject’s interactions with First Peoples preventing such subject matter to be explored. Nevertheless, even when Europeans are by far the most typical biographical subject presented by the heritage site itself, as director I have thus far been able to identify and select for the current Create NSW-funded Old Parramattans collection a small number of European biographical subjects solely on the strength of the fact that their life stories serve as entry points through which the historian can explore and present Aboriginal experiences of cross-cultural contact and frontier violence.[28] But, in truth, Aboriginal stories have been included in this project from the time publication commenced in early 2016. In the process of researching and writing essays for the first feature collection St. John’s First Fleeters, I encountered the stories of Daniel Mow-watty and A. M. Fernando, who were or, as in the case of the latter, are thought to have potentially been connected to First Fleeters buried at St. John’s. Though Mow-watty and Fernando were not buried at the cemetery themselves, their connection to First Fleeters who are buried there led me to contribute short essays about them as ‘further reading’ that amplifies Aboriginal experiences, including the long-term intergenerational effects of the First Fleet’s arrival in the land now known as ‘Australia.’

The topics of dispossession and frontier violence especially raise an important point about what it really means to adhere to the Burra Charter guidelines: all groups who have meaningful associations to the place (St. John’s Cemetery) must feel respected, included and represented, even when their meanings, associations, perspectives and experiences ‘conflict’ with each other. There will be times, then, when individual essays in the St. John’s Cemetery Project draw attention to confronting past events and actions, such as dispossession and frontier violence. In the words of historian Michael Leroy Oberg, ‘It is not [our] job to make you feel good about the past.’[29] It is, however, our job as historians to engage people with the past and make them aware of different perspectives of events to ensure we learn from it. However exclusively ‘European’ heritage sites like St. John’s Cemetery, Parramatta and, by extension, associated interpretations (such as St. John’s Online) may superficially appear, they are all located on Aboriginal lands, and the newcomers lives played out, for better or worse, amid Aboriginal communities—as such, colonial heritage sites and interpretive projects retain the potential to become sites of Reconciliation.

No matter how challenging the subject matter becomes, therefore, to ensure that all stakeholders do feel respected by being included in St. John’s Online, respect is shown to First Peoples as the original custodians of the land as well as to the newcomers by adopting a dual naming policy. This policy allows me to reconcile different ways of knowing, experiencing and naming places by making Aboriginal endonyms an addition rather than a replacement for exonyms, that is, introduced European toponyms. However cumbersome it may seem to present both names every time the place is mentioned throughout a piece, it is vital to do so to remain neutral, otherwise preference is implicitly shown to whichever term is presented on its own. I have, however, supplied the more familiar European exonyms in parentheses, with the endonym always appearing first to respectfully acknowledge original custodianship. If exact names for specific places are unknown and a more general term for the location is appropriate, the endonym for the Aboriginal clan or group is used in relation to the land with the greatest specificity possible, for example, ‘Gadigal Country’ and Toogagal Country with ‘Country’ capitalised, again as a mark of respect. In so doing I hope, in time, that the names that are most respectful to the First Peoples of this land will come to be the best known—and most frequently heard.


Michaela Ann Cameron, “Name-Calling: A Dual Naming Policy,” St. John’s Online, (2020),, accessed [insert current date]



This essay on the St. John’s Online’s dual naming policy has been adapted from “Name-Calling: Notes on Terminology” in Michaela Ann Cameron, (Ph.D. Diss.), “Stealing the Turtle’s Voice: A Dual History of Western and Algonquian-Iroquoian Soundways from Creation to Re-creation,” (Sydney: University of Sydney, 2018),, accessed 13 April 2020. As such, this content was originally written as an introduction to a thesis about historical events in the colonial American context and which, as a whole, had a clearer political alignment than a project affiliated with a state listed heritage site can have if it is to be inclusive of all stakeholders. Accordingly, the edits made to the discussion in this adapted essay and the neutrality achieved via the dual naming policy reflect the aims and requirements of the St. John’s Online specifically.

[1] Heidi Bohaker, ““Nindoodemag”: The Significance of Algonquian Kinship Networks in the Eastern Great Lakes Region, 1600–1701,” William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 1, (Jan., 2006): 37.

[2] For more on these “other-than-human persons” and their “potential” to be animate, sentient and agentive, see A. Irving Hallowell, “Ojibwa Ontology, Behaviour, and World View,” in Graham Harvey (ed.), Readings in Indigenous Religions, (London and New York: Continuum, 2002), pp. 17–49, especially p. 24; D’Arcy Rheault, Ishpeming’Enzaabid, Anishinaabe Mino-Bimaadiziwin (The Way of a Good Life): An Examination of Anishinaabe Philosophy, Ethics and Traditional Knowledge, (Peterborough, Ontario: Debwewin Press, 1999), pp. 114–17.

[3] Theresa S. Smith, The Island of the Anishnaabeg: Thunderers and Water Monsters in the Traditional Ojibwe Life-World, (Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Press, 1995), pp. 43–63; See for example Reuben Gold Thwaites (ed.), The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents: Travels and Explorations of the Jesuit Missionaries in New France, 1610–1791, 73 vols. (Cleveland: Burrows, 1896–1901), Vol. 7, pp. 181–83.

[4] Georg Henriksen, I Dreamed the Animals: Kaniuekutat: The Life of an Innu Hunter, (New York: Berghahn Books, 2009), pp. 26, 54.

[5] Theresa S. Smith, The Island of the Anishnaabeg: Thunderers and Water Monsters in the Traditional Ojibwe Life-World, (Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Press, 1995), pp. 52, 68, 99–100, 121; see also A. Irving Hallowell, “Ojibwa Ontology, Behaviour, and World View,” in Graham Harvey (ed.), Readings in Indigenous Religions, (London and New York: Continuum, 2002), p. 27; Peter Nabokov, A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 35–36, 99–100; Jennifer S. H. Brown, “Fields of Dreams: Revisiting A. I. Hallowell and the Berens River Ojibwe,” in Sergei A. Kan and Pauline Turner Strong (eds.), New Perspectives on Native North America, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006), p. 35; Beverley Diamond, M. Sam Cronk, Franziska von Rosen, Visions of Sound: Musical Instruments of First Nations Communities in Northeastern America, (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1994), pp. 60–61, 66–67, 81.

[6] Theresa S. Smith, The Island of the Anishnaabeg: Thunderers and Water Monsters in the Traditional Ojibwe Life-World, (Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Press, 1995), pp. 52, 68, 99–100, 121; see also A. Irving Hallowell, “Ojibwa Ontology, Behaviour, and World View,” in Graham Harvey (ed.), Readings in Indigenous Religions, (London and New York: Continuum, 2002), p. 27; Peter Nabokov, A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 35–36, 99–100; Jennifer S. H. Brown, “Fields of Dreams: Revisiting A. I. Hallowell and the Berens River Ojibwe,” in Sergei A. Kan and Pauline Turner Strong (eds.), New Perspectives on Native North America, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006), p. 35; Beverley Diamond, M. Sam Cronk, Franziska von Rosen, Visions of Sound: Musical Instruments of First Nations Communities in Northeastern America, (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1994), pp. 60–61, 66–67, 81.

[7] Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines, (London: Random House, 2012), p. 2. See also “Songlines,” Common Ground,, (2017), accessed 29 March 2020.

[8] Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines, (London: Random House, 2012), p. 2.

[9] For more on the French colonists’ Théâtre de Neptune in Acadia, New France, see Michaela Ann Cameron, (Ph.D. Diss.), “Stealing the Turtle’s Voice: A Dual History of Western and Algonquian-Iroquoian Soundways from Creation to Re-creation,” (Sydney: University of Sydney, 2018), pp. 192–96,, accessed 29 March 2020.

[10] Basil Johnston, Ojibway Heritage, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1976), p. 14.

[11] Gary Snyder, “Introductory Note” in Gary Snyder, Turtle Island, (New York: New Directions, 1974), n. p.; Gary Snyder, “The Rediscovery of Turtle Island,” in David Landis Barnhill (ed.), At Home on Earth: Becoming Native to Our Place: A Multicultural Anthology, (Berkeley; University of California Press, 1999), p. 301.

[12] David J. Silverman, “Introduction,” in Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America, (Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2016).

[13] N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1969), p. ix. See also Anton Treuer (ed.), Living Our Language: Ojibwe Tales and Oral Histories, (Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2001), pp. 5–13, especially pp. 5, 10–11.

[14] Amanda Hoh, “NAIDOC Week: Using Aboriginal words in our daily speech key to preserving languages,” ABC Radio Sydney, 6 July 2017, via ABC News Online, accessed 25 July 2017.

[15] “Bayala,” Barani: Sydney’s Aboriginal History,, accessed 25 July 2017; Naidoc, accessed 25 July 2017; see also DX Lab and State Library of New South Wales, Muru View: Visualising Aboriginal Place and Meaning, (2017), accessed 25 July 2017.

[16] Tasmanian Government, Aboriginal and Dual Naming Policy: A Policy for the Naming of Tasmanian Geographic Features, (Tasmania: Office of Aboriginal Affairs, Department of Premier and Cabinet, 2016),, accessed 29 March 2020.

[17]Newcastle City Council trials dual name signs using indigenous words for landmarks,” Newcastle Herald, 28 May 2018,, accessed 29 March 2020. In the North American context, there are likewise countless online language resources being developed in the form of printed dictionaries, websites, YouTube tutorials, and free dictionary apps, providing insight into the world of meanings conjured when native speakers sound a particular word. See Carrie Arnold, “Can an App Save an Ancient Language?Scientific American, (18 September 2016),, accessed 25 July 2017. In Canada, Pepamuteiati Nitassinat: As We Walk Across Our Land (, an online database of Innu place names and audio samples on an interactive Google Map, has even led to ‘officialization,’ meaning the Innu-aimun toponyms will now be ‘used on maps and will have legal status in land management, property transactions, and road signage’ alongside the English names of various features and places in Newfoundland and Labrador. See Kanani Penashue, Peter Armitage, Pepamuteiati Nitassinat: As We Walk Across Our Land (, accessed 25 July 2017; Janet Harron, “Landmark Achievement,” Gazette, (Memorial University of Newfoundland, 22 March 2017),, accessed 25 July 2017. At the same time, social media is being used effectively to spark the wider community’s interest in learning and using native languages via regular, engaging multimodal language tutorials. For example, St. Joseph’s Indian School’s “Lakota Word Wednesday” series on Facebook, St Joseph’s Indian School Facebook videos: accessed 25 July 2017.

[18] See my doctoral thesis, “Stealing the Turtle’s Voice: A Dual History of Western and Algonquian-Iroquoian Soundways from Creation to Re-creation,” (Sydney: University of Sydney, 2018),, for an example of remastering the record in this way in the colonial American context.

[19] Inga Clendinnen, Dancing with Strangers: The True History of the Meeting of the British First Fleet and the Aboriginal Australians, 1788, (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2005), p. 4.

[20] Rajend Mesthrie, Joan Swann, Ana Deumert and William L. Leap, (eds.), Introducing Sociolinguistics, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000), p. 7.

[21] Michaela Ann Cameron, (Ph.D. Diss.), “Stealing the Turtle’s Voice: A Dual History of Western and Algonquian-Iroquoian Soundways from Creation to Re-creation,” (Sydney: University of Sydney, 2018), pp. 31, 157,, accessed 13 April 2020.

[22] Jakelin Troy and Michael Walsh, “Reinstating Aboriginal placenames around Port Jackson and Botany Bay,” in Harold Koch and Luise Hercus (eds.), Aboriginal Placenames: Naming and Re-Naming the Australian Landscape, (Canberra, ACT: ANU Press, 2009), p. 56.

[23] For the “sound is something the mind does” quotation, see Robert Jourdain, Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination, (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1997), p. xiv. Audiation is actually a loan word from music psychology, which in the musical context refers to mentally hearing and understanding music without the presence of music. As Edwin Gordon noted, “Audiation is to music what thought is to language.” See Edwin Gordon, “All about Audiation and Music Aptitudes,” Music Educators Journal, Vol. 86, No. 2, (Sep., 1999): 41–44.

[24] Australia ICOMOS, The Burra Charter: The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance, (2013),, accessed 20 March 2020.

[25] Representatives of churches and missions affiliated with the cemetery, such as St. John’s and the Wesleyan Parramatta Mission, have a voice in this project alongside contributors expressing views that are against the intervention of religious groups among non-Christians.

[26] Other non-western burials, such as the Muslim and Chinese burials, are often also isolated cases rather than large groups, and were, like Dicky Bennelong’s grave, unmarked and possibly conducted elsewhere within the parish.

[27] See “Why we need Aboriginal voices to tell the history of Australia’s convict past,” The Guardian, 28 February 2020,, accessed 11 April 2020.

[28] More of these biographical subjects with links to frontier violence will present themselves as I learn more about the people buried at the cemetery.

[29] Michael Leroy Oberg, Twitter Status, (20 February 2020), @NativeAmText,, accessed 29 March 2020.

© Copyright 2020, Michaela Ann Cameron