First Nations people

Bruce Shillingsworth, the Yaama Ngunna Baaka Corroboree Festival tour organiser, said on October 1 that First Nations people need to be given back the power to make key decisions about water flow and the rivers.

Gill Boehringer, an honorary senior research fellow at Macquarie University, has been studying the Murray-Darling Basin crisis and believes that the New South Wales government’s reluctance to assist affected Indigenous communities is connected to their dispossession, discrimination and exploitation.

This election was very tight. I don't think any party can claim a mandate. Malcolm Turnbull barely fell over the line. There is no mandate in that. Turnbull claims to have a mandate — to not tax the rich and keep giving it to Blackfellas. That is his mandate, and it would be the same if Labor had won. Another disappointing factor is that in the lead-up to the election, and in the post mortem, we have heard nothing about First Nations people. We are still dying in great numbers and they are arguing about who got the most votes in what seat.
My name is Ken Canning. My traditional name is Burraga Gutya. My people are the Kunja clan of the Bidjara Nation of what is now called south-western Queensland. I was raised mainly on the coast of Queensland and in Brisbane and, although I have lived in Sydney since the late 1970s, I am still a very proud Murri. I have been fortunate that since living in Sydney the local Koori community has always taken me in and I feel very much at home here. Many First Nations peoples now living in Sydney are from all over this country and from many different nations.
A meeting of 500 First Nations representatives voted on February 3 to reject Constitutional recognition and to begin talks on self-determination and a treaty with the Victorian government. The proposed treaty would be a legal document covering Aboriginal affairs and services and addressing past injustices. It would be the first such agreement in Australia and follows similar arrangements with First Peoples in Canada, the US and New Zealand. Dja Dja Warrung elder Gary Murray said the national debate around Constitutional recognition was just "a distraction".
A memorial was held on January 20 for two First Nations freedom fighters, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheener. They were executed in 1842, the first two people executed in Victoria. Their deaths form part of the genocide that accompanied the dispossession of the First Nations people. The gathering marched to lay flowers at the Victoria Markets north wall carpark, where their remains and those of 9000 others lie in an unmarked grave.
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