YULARA—Spirit Moves

I just luv this vid/music…

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The Contagion: Wétiko Psychosis

(1) “Columbus was a wétiko. He was mentally ill or insane, the carrier of a terribly contagious psychological disease, the wétiko psychosis. The Native people he described were sane people with a healthy state of mind. Sanity or healthy normality among humans and other living creatures involves a respect for other forms of life and other individuals. I believe that is the way people have lived (and should live). The wétiko psychosis, and the problems it creates, have inspired many resistance movements and efforts at reform or revolution. Unfortunately, most of these efforts have failed because they have never diagnosed the wétiko as an insane person whose disease is extremely contagious.”

Closing_ The_Gap_Crowmanic

(2) “The wétiko psychosis is a sickness of the spirit that takes people down an ugly path with no heart. They may kill, but they are not warriors. They may learn skills, but they acquire no wisdom. They may be surrounded by death but they do not, or cannot, learn its message. They chase after the riches or rewards of a transient world and delude themselves into believing that big tombs and monuments can make it permanent. Above all, the wétiko disease turns such people into werewolves and vampires, creatures of the European’s nightmare world, and creatures of the wétiko’s reality. … They have taken their Satan [evil] to the four corners of the world, and they have made him [it] their “God”.

— Jack D. Forbes, Columbus and Other Cannibals

Note: Wétiko (wet-ee-ko) is a Native American term, for cannibal in the Cree language, defining what they felt is the amoral and predatory behaviour of Europeans: that they consume others’ lands and lives by physical [spiritual] or economic enslavement.

The White Sheep of The Family?

original title: Warren Mundine: The white sheep of the family? by Dr Gary Foley

Warren Mundine’s new “bromance” with Tony Abbott has surprised some, but not Dr Gary Foley, who has watched Mundine steadily tread a path to the Right for years.

ImageTony Abbott and Warren Mundine: a “bromance” between “kindred spirits”?

It would seem at the present time that the former National President of the ALP, Mr Warren Mundine, has momentarily eclipsed the Cape York Crusader Noel Pearson as the Aboriginal Man of the Moment.
Whilst Mr Mundine may lack the intellectual firepower of Noel Pearson, he has nevertheless elbowed his way to the front of the pack with his dazzling late-life conversion to the cause of all things Tony Abbott. Mundine’s strategic realignment to become best buddies with Abbott at the beginning of the 2013 federal election campaign may have been a surprise to some, but only those who have not been taking notice of Mundine’s mundane comments on Aboriginal matters over the past few decades.
It is therefore instructive to recall Warren’s political trajectory over the long term if we are to begin to try and make sense of the political stance he has arrived at today. We must do this if we are to ascertain when Warren is driven by pure political opportunism alone, or whether there is some internal logic and rationale to his strange political path over the years. After all, here is a man who emerged from a respected Aboriginal family on the north coast of NSW; a family who collectively over many decades have been honourably involved in the struggle for justice for our people.
At his stage I should declare my interests and advise the reader that Warren is a distant relative of mine, and that this has tempered this article to the extent that I am treading cautiously in an attempt to not offend too many members of my extended family. At the same time I believe that it is important for Aboriginal people to subject Aboriginal leaders in positions of power and influence to a level of scrutiny that a biased and ignorant mainstream media often fails to, so readers need to be aware of the tightrope I walk as I write this article. Having stated that disclaimer, I would also point out that I have long referred to Warren as the “white sheep of our family” without seeming to upset too many relatives. Continue reading “The White Sheep of The Family?”

Yeh, What Do Aboriginals Want?

July 1, 2013, my response to this article “What do these blacks want? An education? Send them back to the bush where they belong.” @ The Stringer

…I got to the part where I feel the need to say something … we cannot exclude the role of the acculturated Aboriginals themselves who have all the trappings views and beliefs, aspirations and goals of capitalistic-competitiveness as of the average mr & ms citizen, same goals, same world-view, the assimilated, who play a vital role in the game of status quo, deriding and ignorant of the “ways” they are supposed to be “guardians” of, and are either willing or subconsciously colluding participants in the deconstruction of the essence of Aboriginal society and culture, its spirituality, its “spirit” the Tjukurrpa It-Self … nowhere in the current, contemporary “leadership” is the core of the culture itself “Aboriginality is Spirituality” being spoken of or “protected”

… the rhetoric and vision is not an Aboriginal world-view … “education” is now just preparation for living in the main, it is mainstream, Anglo-Australian values, USA-corporate values, eco/ego-centred … ask them, and see what comes out of their mouths … there can be no compromise between the 2 totally opposite paradigms, world-view and way of life… a spirit-centred culture and “Way” is not an “economic centred way” one is materialism, the physical, the other sees and experiences all life in a totally different manner, a “way” of existence in cooperation with the earth and “all” that is rapidly fading from living memory …

what we have now are the remnants, the bits & pieces, the ill, the corrupted, the dis-eased, and a few left amongst us who truly know and hold dear to their essence, what the majority have lost … a dispirited, de-spirited, and dis-eased body of people and descendants … rolling down the highway of beliefs that we are supposedly creating opportunity for all …

and, as an aside… as a child and as a teenager, I lived with those people in those camps you mention, and I will never forget, ever… how much my ancestors and that side of my family and identity have been belittled and bludgeoned into no choice except join the mob, the sheeple, or die in abject poverty, the poverty of spirit … the disease of the mind and body … let’s not exempt nor excuse or overlook the “saboteurs” within our own camps, the “trustees” of the Prison Warden, the re-presenters of mainstream modern ideology and beliefs amongst Aboriginal rank & file… as the Yanks keep saying, “our way of life” meaning “their way of life” or nothing …

Assim_sm

Savage Racism

“This white-Australia is a savage nation where it concerns Aborigines, and it won’t change simply because some of our people (Aboriginals) assimilate.” ~ Jim Everett, Koori Mail, 29 June 2011

Jim Everett
Jim Everett

MP calls for cuts to Aboriginal welfare

John Bowler, MP
John Bowler, MP

Independent Kalgoorlie MP John Bowler has raised the prospect of withdrawing benefits to Aboriginals as the State Government admits it has no idea how to close the growing divide between WA’s indigenous and non-indigenous communities.

Mr Bowler, whose electorate takes in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Laverton, said years of indigenous policies had clearly failed and the Government needed to look at a “tough love” approach.

“I don’t know if that’s the answer – it may make it worse,” he said. “But what’s happening now isn’t working.”

Mr Bowler’s controversial comments fly in the face of established tradition on Aboriginal affairs and suggest a radical rewriting of indigenous policy to cut welfare and make payments conditional on work in a bid to re-energise an Aboriginal population crippled by alcoholism and despair.

It comes after Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said that despite money being pumped into the growing crisis, the Aboriginal situation – including alcoholism, violence and sexual abuse – was worse than ever.

Mr Bowler said Aboriginal communities had fallen into a cycle of dependency which needed to be broken if there was any hope of improvement. “There is no incentive to work,” he said.

Mr Bowler said the indigenous crisis was getting worse at a time the State was going through a boom and there was unprecedented demand for semi-skilled and non-skilled labour.

“What’s going to happen when we eventually have our cyclical turn? What happens then,” he said.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Peter Collier said he understood the approach but it had to be looked at cautiously.

“There is an appetite across the community and in a number of quarters for that sort of punitive action,” he said.

“But you’ve got to be careful that if you do do that, you’re not throwing the baby out with bathwater because what that does is create a multitude of social issues that evolve as a result of that.

“In some instances some Aboriginal people in the community will respond accordingly, but you’ve just got to be careful that you’re not creating a rod for your own back and causing a further cycle of despair, particularly in communities that don’t have access to other forms of revenue or other support material.”

Child Protection Minister Robyn McSweeney said she supported income management. She said voluntary and forced income-management was operating in the Kimberley and parts of Perth and was tied to the welfare of a person’s children. Ms McSweeney said she would like to see it expanded to Kalgoorlie and the Murchison.

~ Steve Pennells, The West Australian, 11 June 2011

Despair in shadow of riches

Nowhere in Australia is the growing divide between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals more evident than five minutes out of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, where a ramshackle camp of propped-up tin and rubbish sits next to a hole that produces 850,000 ounces – $1.2 billion worth – of gold each year.

“Welcome home,” says the sign painted on one of the tin shelters in this grim patch of third-world misery which sits in the shadow of a mammoth mound of tailings from the Superpit, the biggest open cut mine in the country.

The camp is mostly ignored by locals, as are the Aboriginals who stagger drunk through town – temporary visitors who come here via Laverton from the area known as the Lands and camp around the city.

“It’s genocide,” said Pastor Geoffrey Stokes, a big mountain of a man who isn’t prone to understatement. “Look at these conditions they let us live in.”

You just have to drive through the dingy camps around this rich Goldfields city and north to places like Laverton, where children are dumped by their parents and domestic abuse is rife, to realise that regardless of everything that has been done by successive governments, the plight of WA’s Aboriginal population is now worse than it’s ever been.

Years ago, several towns fell into an unofficial and unacknowledged form of apartheid – Aboriginals in one bar, white workers in the other – and there is a culture of resignation and acceptance about the massive levels of alcoholism and sexual abuse that is robbing a generation of Aboriginal children from any kind of decent future.

Continue reading “Despair in shadow of riches”

Boulder Camp ‘a disgrace’

Pastor Geoffrey StokesTwo months since the Federal Government announced a $100,000 commitment to Boulder Camp, a Kalgoorlie-Boulder pastor says he is still waiting to see the evidence the promise has been kept.

In April, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin visited the city, where she announced $100,000 for improving sanitation and security at the camp.

Pastor Geoffrey Stokes called for evidence of the Federal Government’s commitment while examining Boulder Camp yesterday. “Where is it?” Mr Stokes asked.

But a spokeswoman for Ms Macklin said the toilet and showers were “now functional”, the tap washers had been replaced to stop leaks and the solar panel heater had been fixed to ensure there was hot water.

“Community members, along with Bega Garnbirringu Health Services, helped clean up the rubbish around the camp. The council has installed skip bins around the camp and a rubbish collection system has been established,” she said.

She said changes were also being made to make the camp safer.

~ Meera Nambiar, Kalgoorlie Miner, 10 June 2011

Shifting shelter for homeless Indigenous in Goldfields

The Department of Indigenous Affairs bulldozed a camp for Aboriginal rough sleepers last week due to concerns about the safety of the place known as ‘Silver City’, but the complex problem of accommodating transient visitors remains.

It’s another chapter in the vexed question of how to deal with transient Aboriginal populations throughout the goldfields and Western desert.

No-one thought Silver City was a safe or comfortable place to live. A notorious ‘town camp, it comprised a ramshackle collection of open shelters, a water tap and a few toilets in disrepair. It was located a few hundred metres from the Aboriginal housing community of Ninga Mia and five minutes drive from the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Ab Shelter Goldfields
This makeshift dwelling has been set up Ninga Mia since Silver city was demolished

The Department of Indigenous Affairs, which manages the land and took the decision to demolition the camp, said in a statement it did so to “remove the unsafe infrastructure and fill the old disused toilet tanks to ensure the area is made safe, and cleared of all dangerous and loose debris. Debris, which potentially was a hazard and likely to cause injury or death in a strong wind or upon collapse.”

When the ABC visited the Silver City site, the walls from corrugated iron shelters were lying on the ground; beer cans, broken glass and clothing were strewn everyone, and the place was deserted. DIA, when asked what would happen to the people who had used to camp there, said “Silver City was not considered accommodation.”

“Any visitors from the Ngaanjatjarra Lands area will continue to stay with extended families, at the Trilby Cooper House accommodation and/or at other various locations.”

Moving up the slope towards Ninga Mia, a community of about 25 houses, it soon became clear where some of those “other various locations” were. A makeshift shelter had been erected close to one of the houses, using tarps and what looked like corrugated iron pieces of the former Silver City shelters. It formed an open sided covering several mattresses.

Extended families are also overstretched, a problem Julia Shadlow-Bath, CEO of the Goldfields Indigenous Housing Organisation (GIHO), which manages public housing is wearily familiar with.

At another house in Ninga Mia, currently vacant and earmarked for a family on the GIHO waiting list, eight people are squatting. The temperature is very cold, they’ve lit a fire on the verandah and at 11am, there’s already a carton of beer open. The group are from Warburton, one man says he’s on his way to Perth for medical treatment.

“Wherever you’ve got a regional hub you’ve got people coming into town for funerals, alcohol, health,” Ms Shadlow-Bath says.

“You’ve got vast, transient family groups moving between towns and communities who arrive with very little resources or possessions but are all either staying with family, friends, sleeping rough and enormous overcrowding. That leads to comments about vandalism. It’s not necessarily vandalism, it’s maybe 15 people all sleeping in what shelter is available.”

Silver city was awful, she says, but by knocking it down “you’ve got one less temporary housing solution for an already disconnected people.”

The Ngaanyatjarra Lands (often referred to simply as ‘the lands’) are far east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in the Western Desert, stretching to the borders of the Northern Territory and South Australia. There’s a cluster of remote communities in the lands, the largest of which is Warburton, population approximately 500.

The Ngaanyatjarra people remain deeply connected to land, culture and language, but they are not immune to the problems of 21st century life. Health problems (especially the need for dialysis), funerals and other services force people to make the 800km journey on unsealed road west to the goldfields. The lands are also dry communities – Laverton, 400km north of Kalgoorlie, is the first place on the trip west that you can get a drink.

Once in town, some people have great difficulty getting home. Roads are impassable when it rains, even if you have a car or an offer of a lift. Temporary accommodation is available at Trilby Cooper Hostel, which was set up especially for remote visitors. It charges subsidised fees and has rules about drinking. Most community leaders agree the hostel has worked well, but there are always some who sleep rough.

Continue reading “Shifting shelter for homeless Indigenous in Goldfields”

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