Abstract: Taking a reflexive auto-ethnographic approach, this article explores the unique process of transcultural adoption by which Aboriginal people have selectively extended their family formations to include as well as “manage” outsiders. Focussing on my longstanding friendship and research collaboration with the respected Ngukurr Elder, and skilful historian, Rosalind Munur, I discuss some of the ways in which adoption into her family has profoundly reset my understanding of the discipline of history and contributed to a new and extended sense of family and personhood. I explore these changes within the concept of a feminist ethics of risk (Welch) that is tied to Aboriginal women’s agency. In recounting this story, I draw attention to some of the ethical and epistemological responsibilities of engaging with Aboriginal Australia.

Keywords: Aboriginal history; Aboriginal women; auto-ethnography.

Copyright © Karen Hughes 2013. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.