This is what Australian Conservatives have been arguing all along in their denial of recognition and treaties. (ODT)
If Native Americans are reduced to little more than another genetic variation, there is no need for laws that acknowledge their land rights, treaty rights, and sovereignty. Nor must any thought be given to how to compensate for past harms, not to speak of the present ones that still structure their realities. A genetic understanding of race distorts such policies into unfair “privileges” offered to a racially defined group and so “discrimination” against non-Natives.
What they share is a single conceptual framework: the idea that the long history that has shaped US-Native American relations has no relevance to today’s realities.
Did you grow up on the site of a massacre?
Thirty years since former prime minister Bob Hawke promised a treaty, Aboriginal leaders urged the Federal Government to reignite the idea.
The Lower House of Victoria’s Parliament is scheduled to vote in favour of negotiating Australia’s first Aboriginal treaty today.
The Report seeks to raise awareness of, and calls for action to address, the disproportionate rates of Indigenous incarceration across Australia.
This gap between the rates of Indigenous incarceration and non-Indigenous incarceration is fundamentally unfair. On any given day, there are around 10,000 Indigenous adults in prison – including roughly 1,000 women, 500 Indigenous youth in detention and many more Indigenous People in custody in police cells. (ABS (2016). Corrective Services, Australia, June Quarter 2016. Canberra: ABS; AIHW (2017). Youth justice in Australia 2015–16. Table S85a: Young people aged 10–17 in detention on an average day by Indigenous status, states and territories, 2006–07 to 2015–16 (rate). AIHW Bulletin no. 139. Cat. no. AUS 211. Canberra: AIHW).
A graphic of the letterstick presented to Prince Charles earlier today.
His Royal Highness was presented with a ‘Letter Stick’, and it had none of the warm welcome attached to it that Charles had earlier enjoyed.
It read: “This here is Yolngu Land, we are sovereign people and we live by Yolngu law.
“We have many difficulties with the Australian Governments because they do not recognise our sovereignty. We need to correct this situation, for the sake of our children and their children, for our cultural survival, – for our ancestors. We are the oldest living culture in the world.
“I request, on behalf of the people standing before you, and the Yolngu nations that you intervene on our behalf and take a strong position to acknowledge our sovereignty and promote a pathway to Treaty.
“We are the only indigenous people of a Commonwealth country that does not have the respect or dignity of a Treaty with our people. Will you advocate on our behalf for our justice?
“Please accept this letter stick and create a diplomatic passage for this letter stick from your highly respected position to the Prime Minister of Australia, in order to help our sovereign nations reach Treaty.”
In diplomatic terms, this is a pretty big deal – generally speaking the Australian Government goes to enormous lengths to ensure Prince Charles and family avoid delicate matters like ‘family history’. That might explain why Yingiya Mark Guyula – the elected representative for the region – wasn’t even aware the Prince was visiting until a few days ago.
The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) inquiry, led by federal court judge Matthew Myers, was commissioned by the Federal Government to investigate whether courts, police and prisons were contributing to the over-incarceration of First Nations people.
The answer was yes, the inquiry found, because the justice system was often entrenching inequalities by not providing enough sentencing options and diversion programs for Indigenous offenders.
- Inquiry recommends end to practice of jailing people for unpaid fines
- Courts should consider First Nations peoples’ systemic and background factors
- Governments should set criminal justice targets to reduce incarceration, violence
- Advocacy group says the inquiry provides a ‘once in a generations’ chance
“How can a child neglect itself?” says Aunty Vickie Roach as she flicks through a stack of papers on the front step of her home near Wollongong, New South Wales. “And in what alternative universe can that child be criminalized? It’s crazy”, she says, shaking her head.
The uprising in Kalgoorlie was a cry for reform of a failing justice system, writes Michael Brull. Some readers have responded sceptically to Chris Graham’s analysis of the Kalgoorlie uprising, and the many injustices Aboriginal people have faced in the criminal justice system. In theory, some of their reservations have some validity. It is trueMore
The violent clashes between police and protestors in Kalgoorlie yesterday followed the charging of a 55-year-old man with manslaughter over the death of a 14-year-old Aboriginal boy, Elijah Doughty. Twelve police officers were injured, dozens of Aboriginal people are expected to be arrested, police vehicles have been damaged, and court house windows were smashed. MediaMore
Meet the Gadhu dancers from Bermagui Public School, who are keeping the spirit and culture of the Yuin people alive on the far south coast of New South Wales.
This NAIDOC Week, Indigenous rights campaigner Julian Cleary explores some of the interesting, humbling, and downright inspiring facts whitewashed from our history lessons.
The passage to Indigenous enfranchisement has been fraught and hard-won in incremental steps but the status quo in 2016 should give us all pause for thought
Indigenous groups are calling for governments to finally act on the crisis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander imprisonment. Friday marks 25 years since the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody tabled its 339 recommendations – among them that imprisonment should be used as a last resort. Since then, the number of Indigenous prisoners behind bars has doubled and their risk of being put there is 13 times higher than non-Indigenous Australians.
Labor accuses Coalition of abandoning commitment to closing the gap after $500,000 of funding withdrawn
“Treaty yeah, treaty now.” The words of Yothu Yindi’s hit song of two decades since may have been premature but they have proven prophetic. The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has said a treaty is way overdue. He has begun a process to drafting such a settlement with Victoria’s Indigenous people. It is an historic moment.
Constitutional recognition will be null and void if non-Indigenous Australians continue to ignore what Indigenous Australians are saying
In 1838 white settlers murdered 28 Aboriginal men, women and children near Myall Creek Station. For the first time in history some killers were tried and hanged.The massacre is a harrowing reminder of Australia’s colonial violence.
The ABC goes inside Aurukun’s school and speaks to parents of children who are desperately concerned that their children will slip behind in reading and writing.
On Sorry Day 2016, David Donovan recollects growing up in the bush and becoming aware of the struggle and pain of Indigenous Australians — and his unwitting part in it.
On the 1st of May 1946, over 800 Aboriginal stockmen walked off their jobs in a coordinated strike against their employment conditions on pastoral stations across the Pilbara. While the strike officially lasted until August 1949 many stockmen never returned to their former employment in the pastoral industry.
Download for free the song CLANCEY & DOOLEY & DON McLEOD in MP3 format, and the SHANE HOWARD TOUR POSTER – see below] The Western Australian Aboriginal Pastoral Workers Strike of 194…
Johnny Depp’s wife Amber Heard is handed a one-month good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded after smuggling her two Yorkshire terriers into Australia last year while visiting her husband.
Celeste Liddle, Arrernte woman, unionist, writer, feminist and activist – not necessarily in that order – was the keynote speaker last night at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre’s annual International Women’s Day address. This is an unedited version of her speech. I am, through my father’s side of the family, an Arrernte woman. For thoseMore
You may already know that Australia jails a disproportionate number of Aboriginal people, but these two charts, compiled from the latest figures from the Bureau of Statistics, starkly show how rapidly the problem has escalated in recent years.
The Tiwi islands are remote and almost entirely Aboriginal and were once riddled with alcoholism, violence and suicide. But that has changed and a pathway for children has been found that offers a model for indigenous communities around Australia.
Violence in Aboriginal communities is one issue that many do not wish to talk about. But if we don’t acknowledge the problem, we won’t be able to address it.
This week is the 8th International Basic Income Week. It made me contemplate yet again Basic Income as an alternative worthy of serious contemplation as the employment situation in remote Indigenous Australia teeters towards disaster.