Guilt-stricken Australians keep Aboriginals on social services. Keep them quaint, out of sight hopefully. This helps Australians to not confront their history of brutal injustice committed against the “first Australians.” Australians seem to believe to have to protect this resigned and simple race.
A total and radical rethink is necessary as the gaps between Aborigines and their fellow Australians are appalling.
Not cracking the whip as has recently been done by the Australian government but long-term results are needed. The solution to their problems lies within Aboriginal communities themselves. It is a question of empowerment. An elected body of indigenous elders should be set up to advise governments.
Visiting Aboriginal community organizations in and around Melbourne during the last two weeks revealed that “whitefellas” were sitting in positions of power over indigenous communities. A non-Aboriginal woman who gave a presentation at an urban indigenous community health center in front of indigenous delegates could not even handle any questions concerning indigenous healing practices and was poorly informed about culturally appropriate health care. Australia seems way behind as to what regards indigenous peoples’ rights. Within the still dramatically discriminatory health care system it is not a question of culturally appropriate care. In many regions it is about the most basic health care provision, a matter of sheer survival, with a shortage of nurses as high as 50%.
Aboriginals must take control and own their own dreams to not be dependent on others who tell them what their dreams should be. This is the only way to preserve precious cultural treasures.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here