The culture and history of Australia's traditional owners needs to be taught in the country's school systems like "English and maths", Djiringanj man Darnell Andy said.
"Saying a welcome to country is one thing, it's acknowledging we are still here," the 17-year-old said.
"But teaching it in classrooms is another thing.
"I reckon it's about educating our youth. Some cultures are dying and some languages are being lost and I reckon something should be done about that.
"Plus it will be a good thing for young Indigenous people to realise who they are."
READ MORE: Bega High School celebrates NAIDOC Week 2019
Darnell, who made history as Bega High School's first Djiringanj captain, was speaking to Bega District News at Bega's NAIDOC Week celebrations on Friday.
July's event had been postponed after the passing of respected elder and community leader Aunty Margaret Rose Dixon in June.
Darnell thought his culture and history needed to be taught in schools by a traditional owner "to give people the knowledge" his culture has.
"It's not all about showing up for NAIDOC Week or a footy game. It should be shown every day," he said.
"I feel our culture, our land should be recognised and people should be educated on that so they don't think we're a dying race."
A large crowd had gathered in the Bega Indoor Stadium at lunchtime for the NAIDOC celebrations.
Bega Local Aboriginal Land Council said there was something there for the whole family including a barbecue lunch, a photobooth, children's activities, a live band and jumping castles.
To Darnell, NAIDOC Week meant a time of celebrating culture and family.
"It's a time of the year for our people just to celebrate our culture and how we get to come out and show our community spirit," he said.
"It's just one of the days where you get to come out and be comfortable with friends and family.
"The elders probably have a different opinion. But for us young-ins, it's coming out here and having a good day with family."