Aboriginal people

As a kid, the way I was taught about Indigenous people was terrible. For one thing, the understanding of the Indigenous economy and technology was non-existent.

I had this picture of people living in homes basically made of a bit of bark and maybe grass and sticks leaned up against a tree trunk. The impression was they spent their time wandering around and occasionally spearing a kangaroo or goanna for dinner.

Over the years I picked up bits and pieces of a more realistic and less insulting picture of Indigenous life, but it wasn’t really until I read Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe that it all fell into place such that I can maybe imagine in some detail how people lived.

Two very different exhibitions communicate critical evidence about the Aboriginal experience of the 1967 referendum, through which the Australian constitution was amended to remove the racist provisions of sections 51 and 127.

That victory certainly did not end racism in Australia, but opened up the possibility of a broader, unfinished struggle.

Without anywhere that is home, Aboriginal people have been without a physical space to reinvent themselves and their culture in modern Australia.

Since colonisation, Aboriginal people have been internally displaced from their country. The doctrine of terra nullius — a land without people — was established under British colonial government and persisted in Australian law until 1992.

Chace Hill is a young Koori man who lives in Perth. He recently completed an honours degree in criminology at Murdoch University looking at racism. He is also a Resistance Young Socialist Alliance member.

He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Zebedee Parkes about racism in the justice system and the recent Four Corners program about the abuse of Aboriginal children in the Don Dale detention centre in Darwin.

* * *

Tell us about your honours thesis.

In the past few weeks #BlackLivesMatter rallies have been organised around Australia and internationally in solidarity with the Black victims of US police violence and to raise awareness of the racism experienced by Australians of African descent and First Nations communities.

In Melbourne, a rally on July 17 drew a diverse crowd of more than 3500 people. It was organised by just four young activists and mobilised many communities who have experienced racism, as well as their allies.

About 1200 people marched through Melbourne on July 8 in the annual National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) march. The rally demanded "Treaty Now", "Land Rights" and "Stop Deaths in Custody".

http://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/blog/2016/

Captain Arthur Phillip took formal possession of the colony of New South Wales and raised the flag for the first time in Sydney Cove on January 26, 1788.

In the early 1880s the day was known as “First Landing”, “Anniversary Day” or “Foundation Day”. In 1946 the Commonwealth and state governments agreed to unify the celebrations on January 26 and call it “Australia Day”.

The federal government is proposing to hold a referendum to formally recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution.

Sounds like a good progressive idea? Many prominent Aboriginal leaders disagree.

* * *

“Constitutional recognition is said to be about equality and civil rights, but what we're fighting for is the right to determine our own destiny. This government isn't ready to facilitate real power sharing. When nations enter into treaties they share economic power.

Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance’s “World to Win” series, aims to give voice to the ideas and aspirations of radical young people who are involved in the struggle for social change. This week, Murray Taylor discusses the ideas behind wealth inequality and the demand for redistribution.

* * *

Remember how Treasurer Joe Hockey promised that all Australians would pay an equal share in his efforts to balance the budget and assist in this recovery?

Noted journalist John Pilger directed and is the lead investigator in an extraordinary documentary, Utopia: An Epic Story of Struggle and Resistance.

Pilger incisively and tenaciously reveals the brutal conquest and continued racist treatment of the Aboriginal people in Australia. Against this appalling historical documentation of conquest, discrimination and neglect, Pilger also highlights the continued resistance of the original inhabitants of the land stolen by British settlers.

Pages

Subscribe to Aboriginal people