Cross-posted with permission from The Network
I used to live in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Tennant is a majority Aboriginal town - but it remains a mainstream town. A unique combination. One of the things I miss is walking down the main street, Paterson Street, and hearing language spoken. The traditional owners of the area are the Warrumungu but many other First Nations from across the Barkly Tableland on the Territory side regard Tennant as important too. Warlpiri is the third most spoken Aboriginal language. It can be heard from south of Alice Springs through the NT and across to Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia. Find out more about the Warlpiri people here. The Yolgnu language, which is the language of Arnhem Land, is spoken across the north of the Northern Territory, the north of Western Australia and can even be found in Doomadgee in north-west Queensland.
It should be noted that, for Aboriginal people who still have language and culture of their own, they often speak a number of Aboriginal languages - with English coming third, fourth or even tenth! Documenting this has given many a whitefella linguist very busy. :)