Articles on Aboriginal people

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Ammunition found at a mounted police camp at Eyre Creek. Lynley Wallis

How unearthing Queensland’s ‘native police’ camps gives us a window onto colonial violence

For 60 years, native police were deployed in Queensland to 'disperse' Aboriginal communities (a euphemism for systematic killing). Unearthing their camps is a key part of reckoning with the violence of those times.
Humans would have first seen Kata Tjuta very shortly after arriving in Australia 50,000 years ago. Alan Cooper

When did Aboriginal people first arrive in Australia?

Aboriginal Australians have effectively been on their country for as long as modern human populations have been outside of Africa. We have a limit as to how long ago that was: around 50,000 years.
It is hoped that the Royal Commission will bring a renewed enthusiasm for suitable and properly adapted customer service provision that values Indigenous consumers and take their circumstances into account. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

The Royal Commission revealed financial services woes for many Indigenous customers. Here’s what can be done

With enough will and resourcing, many of the structural issues that make financial services a trial for many Indigenous consumers can be overcome. But we need more regulation to deter sharp practice.
It’s been 50 years since the find of burnt bones in ancient soil, eroded from deep in shoreline dune in NSW. Jim Bowler

Time to honour a historical legend: 50 years since the discovery of Mungo Lady

It's been half a century since Jim Bowler discovered Mungo Lady, which changed the course of Australian history. But now he says the find has fallen off the national radar, leaving a legacy of shame.
A sculpture of William Ricketts looms over those of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men at the sanctuary in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges. Chris Haych/flickr

Friday essay: William Ricketts Sanctuary is a racist anachronism but can it foster empathy?

A mossy sanctuary in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges houses 92 sculptures, mostly of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men, women and children. They are steeped in primitivism, yet the park is a popular tourist attraction.
In July 2017, new research was published that pushed the opening chapters of Australian history back to 65,000 years ago. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Essays On Air: When did Australia’s human history begin?

When did Australia’s human history begin? The Conversation, CC BY16.6 MB (download)
Today's episode of Essays On Air, the audio version of our Friday essay series, seeks to move beyond the view of ancient Australia as a timeless and traditional foundation story.
The ‘Closing the Gap’ initiative has existed since 2006, but the statistics show the gap is growing. Mick Tsikas/AAP

We’re not closing the gap on Indigenous employment, it’s widening

To Close the Gap, Indigenous Australians are the experts. Indigenous organisations are more likely to achieve outcomes because they understand local issues and have ‘skin in the game’.
Heaven only knows what sort of excursion Wooredy and Truganini thought they had embarked upon on when G.A. Robinson took them to Recherche Bay in 1830 to make an overland trek to the Tasmanian west coast. Cassandra Pybus

Friday essay: journey through the apocalypse

Wooredy and his second wife Truganini set off into the Tasmanian wilderness with settler George Robinson in 1830, on a "conciliatory" mission to find other original Tasmanians. Their stories bear witness to a psychological and cultural transition without parallel in modern colonialism.
Maggie Cywink, of Whitefish River First Nation, holds up a sign behind Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a summit in Ottawa in support of missing and murdered Indigenous women. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Why the Indigenous in New Zealand have fared better than those in Canada

The Indigenous in New Zealand have fared better than First Nations in Canada in terms of self-determination. Why? It's about a lot more than geography, land mass and language.
George Hamilton, Meeting natives on the Campaspi plains, Victoria, June 1836. National Library of Australia

Noble horses and ‘black monsters’: the politics of colonial compassion

George Hamilton published An Appeal for the Horse in 1866, a defence of animal welfare well ahead of its time. However, his compassion for Aboriginal people was conspicuously lacking.
The Dove ad published on Facebook, which the company took down after many complaints of racial insensitivity. NayTheMUA/Facebook

Dove, real beauty and the racist history of skin whitening

Beauty brand Dove caused controversy with an ad seemingly showing a black woman turning white after using its body lotion. While Dove removed the ad, it played into the racist history of skin whitening.
A sacred paperbark tree at Djiliwirri, the most sacred homeland of the Indigenous elder and public intellectual, Dr Joe Gumbula, in 2004. Aaron Corn

Friday essay: Dr Joe Gumbula, the ancestral chorus, and how we value Indigenous knowledges

Dr Joe Gumbula was a master-singer of Manikay, the exquisite Yolŋu tradition of public ceremonial song. While the songs contain incredible knowledge, scholars have rarely treated them as an intellectual tradition.
Heritier Lumumba describes his experience of racism at Collingwood Football Club in Fair Game. SBS

Fair Game? The audacity of Héritier Lumumba

Héritier Lumumba played for Collingwood Football Club until 2014, where his teammates called him "Chimp". His experience mirrors that of many other black men in Australia, particularly in the workplace.
A group of youth walked 1600 kilometers to bring attention aboriginal issues in 2013 at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. They hold up the Cree flag. By Paul McKinnon/Shutterstock.com

Media portrays Indigenous and Muslim youth as ‘savages’ and ‘barbarians’

Research shows that the Globe and Mail has created a script in which marginalized youth can only be dealt with as failures or criminals, impacting the way they are perceived in society.

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