The Australian Government is actively sustaining cultural violence against Indigenous Australians. The Abbott Government is trying to force 150 Aboriginal Australian communities off their lands in Western Australia. This would displace up to 12,000 Aboriginal Australians, effectively making them refugees in their own ancestral lands. This comes after months of ongoing campaigns to address:
- The removal of 15,000 Indigenous children: The Grandmothers Against Removals group have been fighting for the return of Aboriginal children who live in so-called “out of home care,” away from their families. This practice goes back to early colonialism, where Indigenous children were removed from their communities and forced to give up their culture.
- The Indigenous Advancement Strategy: The Government announced that $860 million of Commonwealth funding would be cut from already under-resourced Indigenous programs.
- The denial of basic services to remote Indigenous communities: as shown in the Utopia Homelands in the Northern Territory, an Indigenous community that lived without clean water for two months in late 2014.
The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called remote Aboriginal communities a “lifestyle choice” only six months after declaring Australia was “unsettled” prior to British colonialism.
A 2011 DNA study published in Science, headed by Professor Morten Rasmussen, shows that Aboriginal Australians are descendants of the first people to leave Africa up to 75,000 years ago. The study provides genetic evidence that Aboriginal Australians represent theoldest continuous culture on Earth.
Rather than supporting Indigenous culture as a unique national resource, with special insight on everything from cultural resilience, to history, to environmental sustainability, the Abbott Government is instead opting to maintain colonial practices that push our traditional landowners off their country. Aboriginal people made their move to Australia 24,000 years before the first wave of people who would eventually populate Asia and Europe.
The displacement of Indigenous Australians is in direct violation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which states Indigenous people “have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.” Under this charter, nation states have a responsibility to:
“provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for: Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities; (and)
Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources.”
Australia is the only Commonwealth nation in the world not to have a treaty with Indigenous people. The Australian does not recognise Indigenous Australian’s right to self-determination. There are two articles that reference race, which enables the Government to make decisions on behalf of Indigenous people. The majority of Australians would support that this discrimination be removed.
Join the conversation to support Aboriginal communities on Twitter using #SOSBlakAustralia.
Image: My Instagram @OtherSociology
HT Professor @marcialangton for Science study; @LukeLPearson on United Nations Charter. Follow @sosblakaust and @IndigenousXon Twitter for updates on protests.
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10 thoughts on “#SOSBlakAustralia: Colonialism of Indigenous Australians in 2015”
I am awed at this piece of information ” 2011 DNA study published in Science, headed by Professor Morten Rasmussen, shows that Aboriginal Australians are descendants of the first people to leave Africa up to 75,000 years ago. The study provides genetic evidence that Aboriginal Australians represent the oldest continuous culture on Earth”. Hmm, my very early relatives…It’s unfortunate that such information is not widely distributed (although it is not surprising). The more I learn, the more I become aware of how important knowledge of our history is, and how much of our history is unknown to us.
Thanks for your comment Shery! Yes, this is truly remarkable, isn’t it? It shows how interconnected our oldest cultures are, and what a remarkable group our Indigenous population is in Australia. Such an ancient and profound connection to the land, as well as other knowledge we should be embracing in all sciences and humanities.
Shery shared this link in her comment to Carol Hand’s blog, https://carolahand.wordpress.com/
She’s a retired doctor of Social Work and her work and concerns are similar to your, although her focus is First Peoples of the Americas. It is heart breaking to see that the Australian continues to practice – in essence – genocide on the original peoples of that continent. Your work is valuable.
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