The long ethnocidal war against this country’s First Peoples is shaping up for another chapter.
A key field of this war will take place in what we are encouraged to regard as the self-governing Northern Territory of the Commonwealth of Australia (First Peoples living countries) and extended into other parts of the country.
This ‘chapter’ is being carried out by powerful others, quick to proclaim (English only) they are working in the interests of First Peoples.
The powerful ‘others’ involved in this consists of some key players and a cast of many extras. So far, some of the key players amongst the ‘others’ include:
* the Council of Australian Governments;
* the County-Liberal Party Chief Minister of the Northern Territory;
* the Country Liberal Party Senator for the Northern Territory;
* the CEO the Northern Land Council;
* a Human Rights Commissioner
* And, just announced, a panel of indigenous land use ‘experts’ for the CoAG investigation. How and by whom they are selected is not clear.
Excluded from this high level discourse are the community voices of First Peoples at a local and regional level. As a result of past and present Australian government deliberate policies there is no properly resourced Australia wide representative body.
As things presently stand, we are unlikely to directly hear the voices of the senior lawpeople of those First Peoples.
Nor will we be hearing about how mainstream Western notions of development and exclusive ownership need to be reformed in light of First Peoples core values. We will hear much about how First Peoples Way have to be ‘reformed’ (yet again) to better comply with mainstream Western notions. The lives of First Peoples have been regarded as the playthings of Anglo-Australian governments for so long it is regarded as ‘normal’.
Nor is it likely that First Peoples voices will be accurately represented in either the mainstream or much of the alternative media. This is the chorus from the cast of many extras, singing very different songs to those of First Peoples, but in tune with their Western cultural master narratives.
Songlines will endeavour, during this year, to provide some informed commentary on this ‘reform’ process from a perspective which does not align solely with culturally one-sided mainstream Western norms and normas, but does not purport to represent the views of First Peoples.
If, better still, we can provide a conduit for their voices, we will.
Bruce (Japaljari) Reyburn
22 Feb 2012