Without dispute , the single most hurtful act in the short history of our nation has been the dispossession of the indigenous Australians from the sovereignty of their homeland.
The continued deterioration of the General standard of living of the original inhabitants of our country cannot be ignored or abrogated .
Aboriginal Australians are calling for a treaty. What that treaty may encompass , I can only speculate.
What would you as a fellow Australian , consider a fair and equitable result of any such treaty ?
As a native born Australian myself that knows no other homeland and - to maybe romanticise the point - as someone that was born to the cry of the currawong and the laughter of the kookaburra, how can I reconcile my desire to appease the needs of the descendants of the First Nations peoples without conceding the fact that I also , am nothing if not as Australian as anyone else ?
Where does satisfaction lie with a treaty ?
A sovereign state within our borders ? If so, where ?
Who would be willing to vacate their home for a political body representative of the First Nation ancestors ? A political body constituent of people's that are often times as European as Indigenous by blood . Who determines whether anyone is pure Australian enough to qualify for any possible racial segregation ?
What other possible outcomes could result from a treaty ?
Would such a treaty be relevant in this new age of globalisation and the recognition of race as analogous branches of the same tree ? Will the discounting of racialism in pursuit of unified humanity render any such race based division as puerile ?
I would happily relinquish a senate seat at both a statewide and federal level to the nations first people. The question is - how do you determine who gets to elect them? What degree of aboriginality is the cutoff? It'd be hard for it to not disintegrate into who's aboriginal enough to vote on it (and mark my words that's exactly what would happen as soon as anybody is prevented from voting). Lets be honest, how much worse could it be in the upper house than it already is? I've got no faith in the existing lot so I'd jump at the idea of having a permanent senate position for an elected aboriginal candidate.
I would also happily move Australia day if it would genuinely help the nation move forward. We could use the centenary of federation instead or maybe we just become a republic and shake off our colonial ties altogether? There are plenty of other dates we could use that are just as appropriate as the day the first fleets arrived and I think modern Australia could do a lot better than we are at the moment. It really is insulting to think that they should celebrate the day they were invaded and the genocide began. If we want them to celebrate our society then perhaps we need to give them something they can feel proud of too. I think we need to become a more inclusive society that gives aboriginal people a voice in parliament and end this long trend of white people swooping in to tell them whats best.
But don't you think that ,by definition , any society built upon a pretence of racial purity is anything but inclusive ?
That it is actually the very opposite of inclusive ?
True but we're also referring to people who originally weren't included in our society and treated as slaves and animals. Many have no incentive or interest in joining our existing "inclusive" society because they already had one.
On a side note, racial purity is the backbone of western society. It's not spoken of but people don't bat an eyelid when poms/irish/scots/europeans migrate here but don't feel the same way about asian/african/middle-eastern migrants. I don't speak for all but I think few would argue that this element still exists and its incredibly widespread. If there's any doubt that racial purity isn't still alive and well then let me ask you this - how would you feel if your daughter married an asian/indian/african/aboriginal etc etc.
The society we currently live in is still far from inclusive because it IS built on racial purity. It's getting better, yes, but why not give those that were here first a say in how the place is run considering they had a society here first and the first fleets destroyed it.
This has been touched on before Gaz but for me, it's more about class and culture than race.
I'd prefer to hang out with, for argument's sake, an educated middle class Tanzanian than a white Australian who calls me "oi cunt".
So that's me not invited for dinner , Andy ?
I was going to bring a few nice bottles of wine too.
Well, to be honest , I was going to bring a couple of bottles of warm Spumante , throw them in your fridge unseen and drink your piss instead.....
Your loss !
I don't picture you as the sort of heathen I'm thinking of Blowin!
I'm more thinking of the football team in Mackay that chased me out of a club and down the street because I'd been dancing!
Didn't think I was that bad...
Always a beer here for you mate, you shoulda hung around for the anti-ski jump rally, it was a great win for the community.
Back on topic...
By the way Stu, you made a comment a while back about "soft left" articles on The Conversation...
I'm wondering if you class this as one of them?
Was there dancing?
Any bad dancing was mine.
And funnily enough, I was incarcerated that night (not trying to make fun of what is presented in The Conversation's article.)
Personally i think a treaty would just be divisive it's really just drawing a line in the sand and saying this is us this is you, we are different, we have a different history and we deserve to be treated differently, instead of saying we are one no matter skin colour or race or ethnicity or if you are newly Australian or your family has been here thousands of years.
BTW. I don't agree at all with Gaz post.
The only way to move forward is to treat everyone equally and get to a point where it's not us and them, when you continue to treat people differently based on race you continue to create division, so although it may appear a positive move from the point of view of indigenous people, i think in the long run it would actually disadvantage them just like most government policy that deals with indigenous issues.
I agree Indo.
Recognise the wrongs of our history , but without compromising our future as a nation that now consists of at least 40 percent citizens born overseas.
Maybe reinventing our nation as a republic with a symbol akin to the Garuda Pancasila of Indonesia ?
I see your point Indo and yes I agree it could be divisive but its much easier for us to tell them to move on from a point of authority than it is for them. They've lost so much so realistically there would have to be some genuine sacrifice on our side too for it to be meaningful. Kevin Rudd saying sorry is hardly food for the belly if you get my drift.
I might add, none of this would fix the issue of living in a location that geographically is difficult to sustain without jobs or services.
"none of this would fix the issue of living in a location that geographically is difficult to sustain without jobs or services."
You're not leaning towards Tony Abbott's "lifestyle choices" are you Gaz?
Good point Indo and agree. What's a treaty, really. The answer is not simple. The indigenous themselves are highly diverse with different laws, language and culture. The fact is this has had to change unless you create separate foreign entities or countries. At this stage, we will need to provide more services in health and education. More than the rest of the community.
Good lord no Andy! I doubt many born into difficult circumstances would consider it a lifestyle choice! I definitely don't consider living with my family a lifestyle choice.
The social issues that exist in some desolate communities exist in every community with few prospects for a better life. It's definitely in the northern burbs of Adelaide and the deep south. I just think that an advocate who's lived in these communities with a direct line to the government would be more appropriate than someone who is clueless to the real problems. A community spokesman would have a better chance at implementing change than any fifo polly in the ALP/LNP currently would.
Gaz, there are reps in our government who are indigenous. And of course advisory committees, etc, etc.
Now the problem is exactly what does the government do which does not create division. Yes, we can ban alcohol in certain areas but that fails. As was already said, we need to be treated equally. This is the difficult part of the process and truthfully, there may not be a single answer.
Didn't think so Gaz!
From the perspective of a white fella in a beachside east coast suburb it seems like an almost impossible situation - these places we're talking about are (still) Indigenous homelands; these people aren't going anywhere else.
At the same time, as we all know some communities have major generational social issues.
How do you build prospects of a better life when you're almost certainly still dealing with the trauma of crushing dispossession?
And what is a better life? On whose terms?
No single answer is an understatement.
AndyM how are any aboriginals born in modern time being dispossessed ?
Their was a Quote from some aboriginal professor ( can't remember his name but he was of very dark skin ) when asked about the shit fight of Australia Day he said of those people carrying on " You can never move forward if you keep looking back" and to him he classed him self as a Australian ( just like you and me) with aboriginal heritage.
I'm talking about what I see as the ongoing generational trauma directly related to colonisation and dispossession.
Simply "getting over it" is a tall ask I think.
I don't particularly believe in dwelling on the past, I was trying to add to the general point that there are certain ongoing issues that are going to be very difficult to deal with.
FWIW I do lean towards all of us being Australian rather than "them and us".
Gimme something to dance to!
This Saturday is the anniversary of the Myall Creek Massacre, one of many in that area at that time. The annual commemoration will take place on the site near Bingara. I have been a couple of times and it is a very moving experience.
After a quite rigorous and respectful process, all the Uluru statement specifically asked for is,
A small representative national body of indigenous people to advise Parliament on issues specifically related to indigenous people. The representatives would be selected by indigenous people, but it would be up to the Parliament to set out its design, who was elected, what powers it would have and what functions it would perform.
It is just designed to formalise an indigenous voice to the Parliament about indigenous issues, rather than a voice in the Parliament.
It would have no legislative powers. It would have no veto powers. It would in no way supersede any Parliamentary function.
The body’s primary function would be just to provide political and policy advice to the parliament and government of the day about indigenous issues. The Parliament can do with it as they choose.
I think this is the mildest request imaginable. Just a constitutionally formalised indigenous advisory voice to the Parliament about indigenous issues. Seems more than reasonable. If the PM, Shorten and the Parliament doesn't get on board, then the whole reconciliation narrative is a crock of shit.
Firstly let me start by stating I was born and raised on the Sunshine Coast(30years), but have spent the last 25 years living, working and raising a family right across the northern parts of Australia (WA,NT,QLD). For all you people worried about great whites try dealing with 200,000 crocs, but that is another thread(yes there is surf, not great but if you're keen). I have also worked and holidayed in Asia. This aboriginal issue( The NT government has just passed directives not allowing to use the term indigenous) is very complex and until anyone has lived and worked in this environment they will never understand what is involved(about 90% of the voting population in Australia). That is why a treaty will never work. First of all what percentage of aboriginal blood is required to be classed as aboriginal . Will we have people that are 10% or less aboriginal blood(urban) making decisions for full bloods(remote/traditional) making decisions for them when they know nothing of their circumstances. I might also add that they have never lived or experienced these conditions, but hey "I'm aboriginal" as long as there is money in it, and that is what this is. A money making industry for a select few. A treaty will only cause more division. Just like NRL , AFL and even surfing indigenous competitions that excludes people based on race. Imagine the outcry if we excluded people from competition because they were Asian, Lebanese, Scottish or any other race. The ill informed PC brigade would have a field day. I know I am going to get shit canned for this post as a "racist", but until you have lived it for a length of time you will never understand that I am a realist, not a racist.
PS.I have sent this to several of my aboriginal friends as a word document before I posted it on this site and they have endorsed my thoughts otherwise this would never have been posted.
stuck - no from what you have that is not racist. Somehow there just needs to be a total 'inclusion' process so that all groups, parties, communities are under the same laws, same health and education system regardless that some some systems or processes are not necessarily the best. Re the term 'indigenous' in NT - thats is just crazy and will cause further issues. We all call our abo mate 'Blacky' - mainly because he has skinny legs and he would not have it otherwise - he is proud of his ethnicity.
Darwin, the first point I would make is that there is no reason to expect indigenous opinion to be less diverse than that found in the wider community, so the approval of your views by some indigenous friends is irrelevant. Views they find inoffensive other indigenous people might find grossly offensive. I suspect your view that aboriginality can be measured purely in terms of ancestory would offend many. The simple truth is that for much of Australia's history since colonisation, indigenous women were sexually used by white men. The children inevitably were brought up in indigenous communities. The notion that someone who was born in an indigenous community then could not be classified as indigenous because they didn't have enough indigenous ancestry is as absurd as it is offensive. Your suggestion that no-one who has not lived in the NT can understand the issues might be true for NT issues but it is an insult to those in the south who have worked with their indigenous communities and have a firm grasp of the their local issues. So, a pretty unhelpful contribution to the discussion, not so much racist as simply narrow minded.
Stuck in Darwin, what was the rationale behind the NT government's use of "aboriginal" and not "indigenous"?
In some very brief correspondence with Luke Pearson on the Indigenous X site he made it absolutely clear he prefers the term Indigenous and he finds "aboriginal" offensive. I'm not sure if he was speaking on behalf of anyone but it's his website.
Maybe another example of a large diversity of opinions on this topic.
AndyM apparently it is more inclusive of Torres Strait Islanders I believe. I don't get it either.
Blindboy I stated in my post, across the northern parts of Australia. Not just NT. As for the views of my friends I did that out of respect for them. That is what friends do, so I do find it relevant. This all started as a result of phone conversations about a treaty with a mate in Meekatharra WA who along with his brother are some of the last members of the stolen generation. Born in Meeka and raised in Perth. Both hold degrees(medicine and horticulture). My next door neighbour is a TO of the Tiwi Islands(translates for his people at RDH). Others are just ordinary people, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers and I am just quoting their views. You get the idea. Now as I stated a lot of the people advocating for a treaty have far less aboriginal bloodlines(stiff if that offends you). They have not grown up in the remote communities and had to live under the circumstances/conditions(appalling for some I might add) that my friends have. Some of the advocates see it as an industry and use their minor bloodlines as a source of revenue. Not as a platform for the people that truly need it. That is why a treaty WILL NOT WORK, which was the original intention of my post. You also mention distant history and that is what it is. Another tool of the revenue brigade. It can't be changed, but to dwell on it and throw it up as an excuse/ argument will forever leave us in the mess we have now. It is time to move on and live for the here and now and the future. As for narrow minded try looking in a mirror or better still come and work and live with these people for a decade or two.
Darwin, if you believe a person's indigenous status should depend on their"bloodlines" then, for all practical purposes you are out of the discussion about a treaty. The debate moved on decades ago. You talk about remote communities. What about those who were removed from their homes and placed in institutions far from their country? My point being, you claim to speak for a certain group of indigenous people ( not a particularly wise move), but there are many other groups who want a treaty and would benefit from it. As a non-Indigenous person I would like to see their dispossession formally acknowledged and a structure created to give them a greater political voice.
Didn't Kevin Rudd formally acknowledge the disposeesion and apoliogise on behalf of all Australians?
Second, I fail to see what a treaty would achieve- is it tokenism, is it an acknowledgement of us and them, does it bind us or absolve us? What's the aim?
I'm all for greater representation of Aboriginals/Indigenous Aussies in parliment, but not only there, everywhere. I would love to see the intergenerational poor and dis-possessed rise up and use the tools at their disposal to break the cycle so to speak. An Aboriginal prime minister one day- wouldn't that be something. But, I don't see change coming quickly while the hatred and self-loathing continue, while there is the 'us and them' mindset, while Australia day is continued to be called invasion day, while the inherent racism of mostly older Australians continue and on and on.
From a personal perspective, I didn't invade shit, my family came here generations ago and while I can't lay claim to the dreamtime stories, Australia is my land and it's all I know. it has my stories and my families stories and hopefully one day it will continue to have the stories of my family when I'm gone. Am I sorry for what happened to and is continuing to happen to the black fellas these days? Of course, but the best I can do is be their friend and treat them as I would my brother, not demean them or elevate them above me. Having a treaty with them divides me and makes me somehow different imo.
If a certain group of Australians want a treaty, go for it but let's all move forward as one and stop looking to the past. It's gone, it can't be brought back, wrongs can be righted but not with this retrograde mode of thought.
I like the line in the Jack McCoy vid- "This earth is our garden, can you dig it?" Speaks to me.
Fair comment zen. Already there is equal opportunity for all indigenous to get into some sort of representative authority, just as is for all. It is essential it is kept this equal for everyone, regardless. The past is the past and for that matter many years past. it is more important what the present holds.
I think Darwin has a good point, that's the problem these days "Bloodline" or "DNA" etc is now a dirty word, it's all about identifying, somehow someone those with majority non indigenous bloodline and a minority Indigenous bloodline can now be indigenous, it doesn't matter how far back your last true indigenous relative was.
I don't buy into this BS even at 50/50 i think people are mixed race at best mixed race, but yeah you could say mixed race with an indigenous background if you like.
I know it sounds harsh and totally politically incorrect but if it doesn't look like a duck and doesn't quake like a duck it's not a duck.
My daughter she is 50% European from me (my father Dutch my mother English) and 50% Indonesian from her mother, she is Australian as born and lives here but she is also mixed race with an Indonesian background, she still eats Indonesian meals most nights, is learning Bahasa Indonesia and will practise or partake in aspects of Indonesian culture and also holds an Indonesian passport(and Aussie), but even if she lives in Indonesia and decides to one day become Indonesian citizen, she will always bet viewed as mixed race and not full blood Indonesian, because well that's what she is, because well I'm her father and I'm not Indonesian.
This identifying thing is just BS, its like if my pure bred bulldog got it on with the neighbours poodle the dogs would be mixed bred dogs, neither poodles nor bulldogs.
I think people generally get race and ethnicity mixed up.
Race is generally genetics and bloodline.
Ethnicity is generally a fuzz concept but it's more about a culture you practise.
Ethnicity you could possibly identify with, but race you can't.
And that's the root of the problem.
Facts are facts, law is law. Depending on your race of course.
If you have received stolen property knowing that the item has been stolen – it’s an offence. No if, buts, or whatevers about it.'
'Although you will likely not be charged with a crime, if you unknowingly bought stolen goods, you will probably have to return them to the rightful owner. The thief (or thieves) will then owe you the purchase price in restitution.Aug 27, 2014'
Its pretty straight forward. Unless you happen to be Indigenous Australian, dealing with sneaky career thieves, and their kind, with a violent history, and an army of guns behind them.
The past still matters, according to law. So do the lies. Terra Nullius. To lie, or not to lie. The answer is clear. Stolen goods and liars, cheats, scum, sleeze bags. The 'foundation'. Carry on.
Indo and fong my point exactly. That is why a treaty won't work.
If, but, whatever. The law is clear on that. Sorry, well, sort of, doesn't cut it. According to white man's law. That is, unless you are Indigenous Australian. Different race, different law. That's white man's law. Terra Nullius.
Herc - you reckon blackfellas never took land off each other ?
Honest question .
I've become a fence sitter regarding a treaty and the identifying of aboriginality.
Unfortunately for the sensitive souls, I don't think you can discuss one without the other. This is especially the case considering the current lacking definition of aboriginality we have moved towards to appease god knows who.
It's not just whiteys that can be guilty of racism, and this will only be exaccerbated if there's some slicing of the pie to be done.
"It’s hard to feel accepted or secure when you’re constantly being questioned about who you are. At times it is easier to shrug off non-Indigenous people questioning and critiquing your identity because you can pass it off as ignorance. But when you get it from your own mob, it digs deep and painfully reinforces the identity issues that have been forced upon you since birth."
I'm hoping we are almost at post identity politics place, where people can have these discussions without flipping out. Because this thread has shown there are a lot of good arguments why the divisiveness of identity politics has passed its use by date
I think blowin's pancasila suggestion is the way forward
Whether that includes some benefits for indigenous people will have to be debated.
Anyone know/think if the US casino profits percentage for indigenous people has improved the situations of the indigenous people of the US?
“Race” is a biological term that identifies a population within a species that breeds amongst itself and shares distinct characteristics. There are no human races in the biological sense, since no population has ever been isolated from others long enough for this to occur. Human populations have always been highly mobile and interbred with other populations all the way back to the origin of the species. To apply some sort of biological qualification for acceptance as a member of an identified population then is simply naive. Identification as indigenous rests on the acceptance, by a population or community, of the individual. This ensures that those with no realistic claim are readily identified and excluded. The idea that people outside the relevant group should be able to decide who is, and who is not a member, based on out dated science and, in all probability prejudice, is offensive and narrow minded. This issue is usually raised by people who want to shift the debate to one of entitlement. In doing this they usually seek to establish a much higher standard for receiving the benefits flowing from indigenous status, than exists in other areas. The same tactic is used against the unemployed…….but rarely against the wealthy or corporations.
Oh dear that is the typical left response Blindboy.
The reality is even if technically small there is differences between races, there is three main groups.
Caucasian (basically European), Mongolian (Basically Asian & South American), Negroid (Basically African, Polenesian, including Aboriginal Australian)
To say there is no races because scientifically differences are small is crazy, lets not forget technically a chimpanzee and a human share 98.8% DNA.
And no, no-one gets to decide who is a race, be it if you are part of a race or group or if not, you don't get to pick and choose your history or you bloodline.
If your great grandmother was Aboriginal but all your other relatives are not, you can not choose to be Aboriginal.
It's just a crazy concept, yeah sure celebrate that tiny bit of indigenous DNA practise indigenous culture if you like but really you would just be a white fella that digs Indigenous culture.
And no it has nothing to do with entitlement.
I can see the merits to the current identifying criterea, but at the end of the day you are still drawing a line somewhere. Who's in, who's out.
If there are some benefits to be gained from a treaty, be it by way of mining royalties or something like that, again you are going to have to draw a line somewhere.
It would be interesting to see if remote communities would include those odd white guys that often seem to be hanging around somewhere in the backgaround.
And it would be interesting to see how they deal with those people with some aboriginal heritage that have never associated with a community. I know a 60 yo guy who recently just found he had aboriginal heritage. He thought it was pretty cool, until his mates started giving him shit about it. It's coolness passed quickly, as did him discussing it. But there are literally loads of these people out there, with more and more people finding out, as information sources get better, and stigmas recede.
But this is assuming there will be some material benefits for people from having a treaty. I'd like to think its just about constitutional recognition, but stan grant's show last week showed this is unlikely.
I think it's kind of funny this concept that some white fella can hang out and be accepted into an Indigenous community and suddenly that makes them indigenous.
So can it work the other way?
If a person with an indigenous bloodline and appears indigenous with strong indigenous features but has nothing to do with other indigenous people and community and has no interest in practising indigenous culture etc can they identify as non indigenous?
I really have to wonder how some people here can present themselves as so well informed and "expert" about this and other topics on the Swellnet dealing with race and/or religion and/or 18c ..... again and again and again.
So much interest and energy to explore any and every nuance ..... really have to wonder about the agenda here.
i couldnt help myself when i saw this thread and the dribble that indo spouts,
polenesian might be polynesian I think indo. your assumptions on race are farcical.
Your 3 little racial sub groups are so off the mark it beggars belief you actually take yourself seriously. For fucks sake I think you will find Polynesians are directly descended from the lapita cultural complex about four thousand years ago.
One race exists, the human fuckin race
I think you will find the only variations in our species is blood type.
Race is myth. Culture is everything.
If, buts, whatever's. The law is clear. No exemption. Terra Nullius. The truth. Indigenous Australians were and are human. They were the rightful owners of this land. According to our and their law. 60,000 years blowin. No prisons, no police, no army's, no political parties, no blood bath. Just a brilliant, to this day, unrivalled system of living, which fostered and nurtured a necessarily diverse group of Cultural Groups, although with a common goal.
Despite the cunning, despicable lies, that is the truth. The thievery is real. We know. But like criminals with means, the guilty will lie their way out. Some will just play dumb, and conniving like slip stream a ride. The forks. In the road. In the tongues. Good ol' whitey. Just trying to do the right thing.
The law is clear. Give it back. The only concern is then with the british sovereignty. Where to live, how much compensation. The rest, this land, is none off our business. According to law. No ifs, buts, whatever's. Sorry.
"""We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own
country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in
two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country."""""
how and what way does constitutional reform empower indigenous people, and more importantly what place in this country do indigenous people seek?
So we can see, its not so simple. Law, our law, that we wish to impose on Indigenous Australians, says we are guilty of knowingly possessing stolen goods. Our law says, give it back. No ifs, buts, whatever's. Then once we've sorted out our sentence, move on, get over it. Forget the past. Our only issue to solve then, is with the queen's lot. Compensation? Who will have us 'boat' people?
Unless of course, we forcibly continue to deny Indigenous Australians equal law. Not such a bad bunch are they. Rather than wash their hands of us, as by law we sail off to New Guinea perhaps, should they even want us, Indigenous Australians are prepared to let us off the hook, working with us to create just the likes of a 'treaty', and concessions which take into account their massive losses due to us treating them much, much, much less than us, by law.
Indo you are completely wrong. For a start the "negroid" race that you suggest covers Africans would contain greater genetic diversity than all the others combined! The concept of a European race is equally ridiculous. Where does this race stop and the Asian race start? If you look at the indigenous populations from Europe to China, the "racial" characteristics grade continuously. Then you, against all known analysis of human migration, somehow manage to lump Australian indigenous populations in with the Polynesians when Australia was populated over 50,000 years ago from Africa via Asia and Polynesia was populated much more recently from migrations probably originating from Taiwan. Left wing? No mate, just the simple well established truth. Your ideas are straight out of the 19th Century.
Nobody owns land. Did you/they create it? No. Only ever custodian's.