Indigenous people

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Clouds of sulphur dioxide being emitted from the gigantic waste rock pile at McArthur River Mine 2014. David Morris EDONT

Indigenous communities are losing out in the development of northern Australia

As the Australian Government pushes ahead with its Northern Development agenda “making it easier to use natural assets”, it’s important to ask how this may affect the Indigenous peoples in whose territories development will occur.
Adam Goodes continues to demonstrate through dignity and presence of mind, that he is an empowered Aboriginal man. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Adam Goodes, dignity and Aboriginal men: what the research says

Adam Goodes' actions – from his celebratory dance to his decision to temporarily withdraw from the AFL – epitomise the concept of male Indigenous dignity.
If a way ahead on constitutional recognition is to be forged, it must be through political leadership and genuine public consultation. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Leadership is key to breaking the impasse on constitutional recognition

The parliamentary committee's report highlights the deep division between those who want to advance Indigenous recognition through minimal constitutional change and those who seek more substantive reform.
Bush tucker is part of the connectedness with the land and each other that nourishes body and soul in Indigenous communities. AAP/Paul Miller

Happiness born of connectedness lifts up Aboriginal Australians

In Indigenous communities beset by tragedy and social problems, the connection to each other and to the land remains a powerful source of shared contentment and happiness.
The Northern Territory’s ‘paperless arrest’ powers are at odds with recommendations by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Shutterstock/Igor Golovniov

Paperless arrests are a sure-fire trigger for more deaths in custody

Northern Territory police powers to make 'paperless arrests' are completely contrary to recommendations by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and now the inevitable has happened.
While plans to close ‘unsustainable remote communities’ have triggered recent protests, at the heart of the issue is the nature of the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. AAP/Richard Iskov

Who decides? A question at the heart of meaningful reconciliation

Decisions being made from on high about the fate of remote Indigenous communities are symptomatic of a continuing imbalance in the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
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…

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