First Peoples July-September 2015

Update 22 September 2015: Stan Grant farewells Adam Goodes

Indigenous journalist Stan Grant writes that the numbers for Indigenous life expectancy, incarceration, stolen children more accurately reflect the story of Adam Goodes than do the numbers for his success as a sportsman. ‘These numbers hint at a deeper story of sacrifice and loneliness, of questioning and wondering. Who am I? Where do I belong? What does it mean to be black in Australia?’

Update 15 September 2015: Papunya pictures, design expressing Indigenous values

Monica Tan presents some work of Papunya dot painters, currently on display at the University of New South Wales, then travelling. (Update 18 September: Joanna Mendelssohn writes.) Elizabeth Dori Tunstall looks at the work of Victoria’s Koorie Heritage Trust, which ensures Indigenous access to cultural material, supports the value of connection to country, and facilitates community engagement and exchange.

Update 14 September 2015: living under the Aborigines Protection Board

John Maynard writes about a research project about experience under the Aborigines Protection Board in New South Wales.

Update 13 September 2015: Warlpiri culture

Warlpiri educator and scholar Steve Jampijinpa explains the five pillars of Warlpiri culture. Links to other resources on Warlpiri culture.

Update 6 September 2015: Griffith Review Indigenous writing portal; a dark chapter in Canning

We belatedly discover this excellent resource on the Griffith Review website, containing both pieces on Indigenous politics and social issues and pieces by Indigenous writers. There were over 80 articles linked from here in September 2105.

Then there is Paul Daley’s piece in Guardian Australia about the black history of the name Canning, as in the electorate. He writes of ‘many violent acts – massacres, revenge killings, resprisals – that marked the early years of the track’, the Canning stock route and the article is illustrated with paintings from local artists.

Update 27 August 2015: constitutional recognition and practical politics

Paul Daley rejects the idea that constitutional recognition should extend to migrant Australians as well as First Australians while Amy McQuire questions mainstream media treatment of the prime minister’s trip to Northern Australia.

Update 25 August 2015: two rather different views of our Indigenous past

Anthropologist Gillian Cowlishaw says we should not discount the work of classical anthropologists while Tony Abbott is taken to task for an allegedly nostalgic view of what is appropriate policy.

Update 13 August 2015: Ferguson and here; Indigenous teachers needed

Two items from the ever-alert Guardian Australia: Stan Grant compares attitudes to Black Americans as seen currently in Ferguson with attitudes to Indigenous Australians as seen widely in this country; Jessa Rogers, Wiradjuri woman, on why we need more Indigenous teachers.

Grant has a great quote from the late James Baldwin: ‘I have spent most of my life watching white people and outwitting them, so that I might survive’. Rogers says: ‘Having more Indigenous teachers is a key factor in fostering student engagement and improving educational outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students’.

Update 11 August 2015: land rights legalities and stolen children

From New Matilda, a long article by Jon Altman on legal aspects of native title claims and a piece by John Maynard on the oral history of how Welfare and Protection Boards removed Indigenous children.

Update 10 August 2015: owning up to our black history

Jeff Sparrow in Guardian Australia on Goodes, Confederates, kanakas and Frontier Wars.

Update 6 August 2015: Swans’ chairman’s speech

Full text of recent speech by Andrew Pridham on issues raised by booing of Adam Goodes.

Update 3 August 2015: Stan Grant at Garma

Wiradjuri man and journalist, Stan Grant, writes:

As a reporter I’ve covered conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza and Pakistan – and I have met myself in every one of those countries. In refugee camps I have looked into eyes of the same people I grew up with. I could have been looking into the eyes of my father.

I have seen the same listlessness coupled with defiance, the same suffering coupled with survival. But in those lands, conflict is defined; war given its name. In Australia we don’t even have that.

Update 31 July 2015: more Goodes

Paul Daley in Guardian Australia puts the booing of a footballer in a broader context (with over 500 comments). He asks when it all started:

I think we should go back even further to 1770, when Captain James Cook and a couple of Gweagal tribesman were involved in this continent’s first east coast moment of “contact”. The Gweagal threw spears. Cook’s men shot at the Gweagal, wounding at least one and setting the tone for the 1788 invasion and all that followed, to which Goodes referred graciously in his Australia Day speech.

Two hundred and forty five years later the big questions at the heart of Australian nationhood remain unanswered. There’s been no reckoning for the extreme violence, dispossession and related trauma that still reverberates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia, no treaty and no honest dealings on sovereignty.

Update 30 July 2015: more Goodes

Some non-MSM takes. And another historical look at racism from Liz Conor. And a ripper piece from Stan Grant on how it feels to be Indigenous (1156 comments). First Dog on the Moon cartoon.

Update 28 July 2015: Adam Goodes

Two thoughtful New Matilda pieces from Amy McQuire and Chris Graham. Graham suggests AFL games should stop when racist booing starts. McQuire contrasts the fuss being made over gestures at football matches with the lack of fuss over the hit-and-run death of an Indigenous boy in Darwin and the light sentence that was given to the (white) driver. Plus Russell Jackson in Guardian Australia.

Update 25 July 2015: Frontier History Revisited

Link to comprehensive website on the work of Robert Ørsted-Jensen on deaths in Frontier Wars in Queensland.

Update 23 July 2015: British Museum, Australian fast food

Paul Daley has another look at the politics of the British Museum’s Indigenous Australian artefacts exhibition (coming soon to Australia), specifically at its sponsorship by BP. Some Indigenous Australians see multinationals like BP as threats to Indigenous lands and cultures world-wide.

Also in Guardian Australia, film-maker Warwick Thornton talks about his new exhibition in Melbourne focusing on the effects on Indigenous children of excessive consumption of fast food.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are three times as likely [says author Melissa Davey] as non-Indigenous people to have diabetes and high sugar levels, with one in 10 of them suffering from the condition. From the age of just 15, every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in Western Australia’s Kimberley region is regarded as being at high risk of developing diabetes.

Update 15 July 2015: a Canadian comparison

An NITV item on First Nations experience in Canada, which may be compared with Australia’s Stolen Generations.

Update 10 July 2015: NAIDOC Week item

If Indigenous Australia was a country it would have the 12th highest suicide rate in the world.

Update 9 July 2015: NAIDOC Week items

International comparisons of Indigenous constitutional recognition issues. Seven Indigenous Western Australians talk about their connection to place. Indigenous entrepreneurs talk while this item links to an Auditor-General’s report on how the Australian Public Service is underusing Indigenous suppliers.

Update 8 July 2015: NAIDOC Week items

Astrophysics opens up an Indigenous perspective on the universe and offers a path to reconciliation. Peter Brent and Sean Kelly on political issues surrounding Indigenous recognition. Amy McQuire not impressed by the Kirribilli conference (includes links to her earlier pieces). Chris Graham and some thoughtful posters on Our Dawn and Our Nick.

Update 6 July 2015: NAIDOC Week items

Lander, Gray and Wilkes in The Conversation examine the House of Reps report (tabled 25 June) critical of the NT Government’s approach to ‘problem drinkers’. Darren Parker in Guardian Australia writes about the consultative meeting with the prime minister and others to do with Indigenous recognition in the Constitution. The prime minister said this and this.

Update 5 July 2015: AM Fernando and NAIDOC Week 2015

Paul Daley writes in Guardian Australia about pioneer Indigenous activist, AM Fernando. Couple of NAIDOC links also.

March-June 2015