It seems almost every week there is an amazing announcement from the government in relation to Indigenous affairs. Money going here, resources going there and agreements and settlements everywhere.
Just last week at the Garma summit there was talk of an Indigenous panel working along side parliament being established. This idea had already been knee capped with an agreement that the panel would have no real power over the government in relation to Indigenous issues. Finally the summit ended with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull rejecting the plan as it was ‘too ambitious’ compared to John Howard’s original plan to recognise us in the constitution.
It’s time for all of us to reflect and ask questions about the meaning of this. Is the government truly interested in a type of reconciliation that is based on respect and understanding? Or does reconciliation translate to assimilation in the eyes of the government? Does the government want us to be an integral part of this country’s future or do they want us to remain forever in the shadows? I’m not going to lie, I do not believe the majority of the government has any interest in forging a new way forward and here are 5 tell tale signs to show you why.
- No action against fake Aboriginal art.
Right now in International airports and tourist shops throughout Australia, tourists are being sold fake Indigenous artworks that have been imported from Indonesia. Where is the ‘national pride’ on display here? Where is the fair go? It seems like those phrases don’t apply to us. We have been calling for this to be banned. Why is it so hard?
2. Limited action over worlds highest child suicide rates in Aboriginal communities.
Any other nation would be calling this a national emergency or crisis. But here in Australia this news rarely reaches the national headlines despite numerous outcries and calls for action. It’s a scary thought… the government previously wanted to breed us out during the stolen generations period and now it appears they are sitting back as we kill ourselves.
3. The Uluru climb remains open.
Uluru is one of the most sacred and spiritual places to Indigenous people. The Anangu people have requested for years that the climb be shut down. What part of ‘sacred’ does the government not understand? Many countries have national treasures that are protected and respected. Why in 2017 are tourists allowed to walk all over and defecate (Yes, people actually defecate) on such a sacred place.
4. The ongoing destruction of sacred sites.
Recently as the exploration for resource exploitation grows, the government who walk hand in hand (or hand in pocket) with mining companies have begun to pull down existing protections and place more emphasis on profits rather than preservation. These people are terrorists. Why are we negotiating with them? From the west coast to the east coast the government is waging war on our land and will move every obstacle that gets in their way to continue the theft and exploitation of the great southern land.
5. Worlds highest incarceration rates.
Our people are the most incarcerated people on the planet. Our communities are suffering from problems that the government created when they kidnapped the current generation of Elders. This is hard for me to say but our current Elders were raised during the stolen generations and taught to look down on our language, skin & culture. They were robbed of great examples of cultural pride, strength & leadership from the Elders of their generation. Why can’t the government see this? Instead they take the opportunity to demonise us even further and threaten to shut down our communities. If we are the demons, then why is the UN pointing the finger at the government?
I’m going to stop myself here. I know some people tune out when they here endless facts and statistics. I could give a lot more than 5 examples & I think this will need a part 2 to this article. If you get the feeling that I am angry about all this, well you’re right! But please don’t label this as hate speech because at the end of the day everything written here is fact. If you hate these facts, then let’s do something about it.