Can I get a signal boost for this please? I have a very important message to share.
Australia is home to the longest continuing culture in the world but also one of the youngest colonized western countries too.
The English settlers gave us the word Aboriginal to describe us in 1788, even though we had hundreds of individual nations/nationalities within the broader Aboriginal race and continent that Australia is.
This story is from my nation, it happened to many nations on Australia’s eastern coast line.
The English came they came wielding guns to our men’s heads, slaying them. They took women and children and put them into reserves.
With the cultural men gone, the women and children were forced to assimilate to British way of life. The British men would use these women to “their benefit” and have children with them. These women would stay on reserves til they died, suppressed from practicing culture or speaking their languages.
The aboriginal children however were segregated in many ways. If they ended up being light enough, they could be adopted out to English families. If they were too dark and considered female, they’d be forced to do the same as their mothers. If they were young men, they’d work for white men without pay (isn’t that what the English call slavery?).
None of these children got strong cultural knowledge passed down from their forefathers and foremothers. The genocide of aboriginal people was happening and it was a long, slow and torturous process.
Some of our people fortunately were able to pass down cultural knowledge, others not so lucky. Other nation’s mothers and children’s weren’t even put onto reserves as the “protection” act insisted. Some mothers and children were SLAYED from the barrel of a gun too.
And today, in remote Australia many aboriginal communities survived, didn’t come into contact with foreigners. By then protection laws were outdated and the land they took, they had and the cultures there were mainly wiped out.
But that being said, it’s 2015 and Australian governments are still doing this. In Western Australia, their premier Colin Barnett is doing to shut down 150 remote communities because they can’t afford to run them. Moving these people to the cities, where they’ll lose the ability to practice sacred ceremonies, teaching their children about the land and eventually assimilation into the high pressure life of the city. The genocide continues.
People are agreeing to this move by saying these places, breed disease, breed violence and breed poverty. It’s an awful shame the hypocrites won’t admit they introduced these things to aboriginal people.
Yesterday, Friday the 13th 5.30pm EST across Australia there were protests in every capital. In Melbourne we managed to shut down the city during peak hour.
People were furious about us shutting down the city’s main intersection, white people looking at us as if we are disgusting for doing it. I would have done it for 227 years, so they could feel a fraction of what we as aboriginal people faced.
Australia is a great place to live, unless you are aboriginal and understand the dangers of assimilation. It’s a great place to live for many non-aboriginal people but it’s been at the cost of many aboriginal cultures, languages and lives.
It is considered to be a “developed” nation, but for these “developed” people they can’t even have the decency to come to us for a treaty like every other commonwealth nation has with their indigenous peoples.
Recognizing us in your constitution won’t change that. It’s your constitution, it recognizes your occupation and dictatorship over aboriginal lives. Reconciliation shouldn’t be about getting us into jobs and university so we can fend for ourselves in your society. Reconciliation is letting us be aboriginal people, with our own law for our people, practicing our culture, languages and paying the rent that is 227 years overdue. A treaty is vital to allow us to co-exist among non-aboriginal the right way. Paternalism isn’t working, your entitlement to our own lives is racist. Just grant us self-determination and you’ll see better health, education and well being.
Aboriginal genocide continues in many explicit and implicit ways. It doesn’t always mean death, it’s assimilation through racism and colonisation.
It’s 2015 and genocide continues:
Death at the hands of police
Forced child removals (aka job creation)
Highest suicide rates in the world
Disease and illness at higher rates
The forced removals of people off their cultural land
Domestic violence against women (introduced)
Ruining the matriarchal cultures because European men introduced the sense of entitlement over women.
And again assimilation.
So when we march the streets, don’t stare, glare or be disgusted. Have empathy and wisdom, understand where we are coming from. Be grateful to be living here, you’re living here because many aboriginal people sacrificed so much for you to be here.
Gumera Wahlu - Yugembeh for my heart loves you/i love you.