Thursday, January 26, 2012

Invasion Day 2012

I nearly left this up with out saying anything. I will let the song speak for itself. But let me list some reasons why I can not celebrate Australia Day.

1) Aboriginal languages and cultures are still dying, while we still insist that they speak English and conform to our European way of life.
2) Aboriginal peoples are denied the right to self determination.
3) As European Australians we do not admit that our own cultures are as much guests in Australia as the ones that come after us.
4) Refugees are being turned away, while both sides of politics do not want to freely allow boat people in. They can get away with this because the majority of Australians feel the same way.
5) While we may have said sorry for the stolen generations, our actions do not say sorry.
6) While we may have said sorry for the stolen generations, we have never said sorry for the many generations of genocide that went on before.
7) Because even my mates will scoff at Aunty Joy when she gives a welcome to country at an AFL match (the indigenous match between Richmond and Essendon), saying things like "it's our land now, we kicked them off it" or "can't they find someone more eloquent to speak for them".

I could sit here longer and rant longer, but it will just get me worked up. I want to see a day when Australian Aboriginal peoples are truly respected and valued for what they can teach us. When we have that attitude I think we will find that they are happy to welcome us to their traditional lands- mutual respect will be fostered. Until that day happens there will never be a true Australia Day.

A little post script edit for the end of Invasion Day 2012- let Yothu Yindi have the last word.

Treaty now, treaty yeah!


Peter Kepsner said...

Well said. The challenge seems to me to be, how do we support our indigenous peoples to keep their cultures healthy whilst the slow wheels of generational change turn. I live in hope that the day will come when the most beautiful and logical culture this land has experienced will be recognized, respected and learned from.

Pasha Siberian said...

Hi Peter,

I think we need to truly *respect* them, allow them to educate their own children, while providing any *facilitation* they may ask for but not pushing it on them. Giving Aboriginal Peoples permission to speak and teach their indigenous languages to their children in priority over English is paramount.