Articles on Indigenous people

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Giving constitutional status to an Indigenous advisory body would give Indigenous Australians a say about laws that directly affect them. AAp/Tracey Nearmy

Putting words to the tune of Indigenous constitutional recognition

Proposals for constitutional recognition of Indigenous people are gaining momentum but also raising legal concerns. Here is a form of words to create an advisory council that overcomes those concerns.
Films such as Avatar idealise indigenous people as Noble Savages, enjoying simple and uncorrupted lifestyles until contact with colonisers. Nicole Hanusek

Anthropologists do well in movies, indigenous peoples not so much

In a recent study, of the 53 films watched that had at least one anthropologist as a character, just under half belonged to the horror genre. Why should that be the case? And how were indigenous peoples in those films portrayed?
Aboriginal stories say Fitzroy Island on the Great Barrier Reef was connected to the mainland. It was, at least 10,000 years ago. Felix Dziekan/Flickr

Ancient Aboriginal stories preserve history of a rise in sea level

In the beginning, as far back as we remember, our home islands were not islands at all as they are today. They were part of a peninsula that jutted out from the mainland and we roamed freely throughout…
Indigenous Australians see spirituality as central to their wellbeing. Rusty Stewart/Flickr

Indigenous Australians offer a broader concept of wellbeing

The United Nations Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently conducted an assessment of the wellbeing of people around the world. The results indicate that Canberra is a world…
Deborah Mailman and Elizabeth Wymarra play the Housewives of Naorromine in Black Comedy. ABC

Black Comedy: the ABC makes a bold foray into race relations

ABC’s new Indigenous sketch show Black Comedy, which premiered last night, is touted as a “show by blackfellas … for everyone”. As a blackfella, I’m not sure I agree that it is for “everyone” but that’s…
The media should focus more on positive models of change and commitment in Aboriginal communities. Rusty Stewart

Bad news: negative Indigenous health coverage reinforces stigma

Think of Aboriginal health and you’ll probably recall messages of large gaps in life expectancy, increasing rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease and asthma. Or that the last ten years…
Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area in NSW – rich in ancient history. Steve Bourne

Working with Elders and return of First Australians’ remains

Evidence of the first people to settle in Australia can be found in the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area, in western New South Wales, informally referred to as Australia’s Rift Valley. Hundreds of archaeological…
Sustainable palm oil production should have local consent: often, it doesn’t. Rainforest Action Network

Sustainable palm oil must consider people too

Businesses, government and civil society met this month in Medan, Indonesia, for the 11th annual Roundtable meeting on sustainable palm oil. While orangutan conservation organisations dominated conversations…
As the 44th parliament opens, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said an Indigenous PM will be possible one day soon. AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

Abbott looks forward to Indigenous PM

Tony Abbott says he hopes Australia will have an Indigenous prime minister “one day, not too far off”. Addressing the Welcome…
The High Court has found that Indigenous disadvantage needs to be taken into account during sentencing. AAP Image/Marianna Massey

High Court to give ‘full weight’ to Indigenous disadvantage

How long should a criminal’s past history and background remain relevant in a court of law? That was the question before the High Court earlier this week in the case of William Bugmy. Bugmy, a 29 year-old…
West Papuan refugee Amos Wainggai is on board the Freedom Flotilla, headed for Papuan shores from Australia. What will it mean for our relations with Indonesia? AAP/Cleo Mary Fraser

What will the West Papua flotilla mean for Australia-Indonesia relations?

Given the extreme sensitivity with which the issue of West Papua is viewed in Indonesia, the “Freedom Flotilla” heading from Australia to the Indonesian-controlled territory is sure to create tension…
Children who had experienced stressful events had poorer physical health and more parental concern about behavioural issues than those who had not, the article said. AAP Image/Marianna Day Massey

High stress linked to poor health among Indigenous kids

High stress among Indigenous children in urban areas is linked to poorer physical health and more parental concern about…
Galiwin'ku, Elcho Island, the Yolngu people’s customary land. The lead singer of Yothu Yindi, a Yolngu band, died yesterday, aged 56. Flickr/boobook48

Yothu Yindi and the Yolngu culture: dreaming of a brighter day

The lead singer of the band Yothu Yindi died yesterday of kidney disease, aged 56. Only a few decades after radio, popular music and electric guitars spread through Arnhem Land in the 1960s, Yothu Yindi…

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