My name is (redacted), I am (redacted) from the Kimberley, whose mother was a Stolen Generation woman and had suffered under those painful removal laws. (redacted). I am advocate for the empowerment of our people. I express by views and submit this small submission to the dialogue of Indigenous Voice Discussions.
I believe with the massive investments made over the years into Native Title nationally that a body made of locally elected/nominated representation by those Native Title Holders should be representative of all things related to Aboriginal Affairs in this country. Only TO's make decisions on their own country and all things that will impact on their own people. The nation must respect that we are made up of a diverse group of people who have their own sovereign rites to speak for their own country, people, Law and identity.
We are not all the same. From Saltwater people, rain forest people, desert people river people etc its logical and a no brainer to understand this. Let alone the diverse languages which must be encouraged to be learnt in the relevant regions. It the national body must be made up of traditional owner groups and not a western democratic process. We are unique in the world and we must ensure and protect this uniqueness otherwise we are all full of crap regarding Aboriginal Australians and their future in this world. The time for the rhetoric should be over and some solid concrete decision making leadership is paramount to respecting the plight of the diverse languages and cultures that make up Aboriginal Australia. We are not all the same except we have one common thing that bonds us and that is we are Natives of this land since time memorial. Are we as a nation and as a collective going to assist in the watering down and eventual eradication of the Aboriginal nations diversity, after all this was a colonial agenda anyway. Like the Incas we will become no more if we do not invest as a nation into the uniqueness, diversity and ancient languages, cultures and responsibilities for caring for ones own country.
You can not separate all of this, it is the one thing it is the whole of what makes Aboriginal Australia what it is. If we fail this we fail Australia. Are we about a diverse Australia or wanting to amalgamate all peoples of Australia into becoming a one nation, this will never happen as the cultural obligations that separate Aboriginal from main stream is the very essence of our uniqueness' as a nation. Australia is NATIONS within the Nation before European invasion. This must be respected and there a true representative of all tribal boundaries/country must be respected and all ancient stories, languages and associated Memes should be invested in so that Australia is richer into the future for having this Aboriginal diversity recorded, respected and celebrated into the future. To fail this , is to fail the nation and will be a question on all future persons of why we did not fix this.
So a structure like ATSIC but rather than anybody standing each tribal group/Boundary, Native Title holders elect their representatives to be on a national body, this way the proper protocol is then in place for who can speak for which country. We must remember that the needs and wants of people say in the desert is so different to those in Cities and urban areas. The services are much more accessible and support is greater as opposed to those in isolated regions. We must also remember that people feel connected and responsible for their own country and feel safe. This is in line with proper Aboriginal protocols. We must also value cultural tribal elders wisdom and options even if they can not read and write. Simple communications and transfer of appropriate knowledge to assist those in contributing to decisions is the power of great decision making.
To be well informed and awareness of the consequences of wrong decision making over country has a physiological and cultural ramifications that is always overlooked in all things relating to Aboriginal people. This way we overcome those cultural fears and obligations by addressing the right people who speak for country and their role in their tribal groups. Gender is also a important thought to be considered as due to colonisation we have massive alcohol, drugs and hard drugs permeating in out communities which has contributed to the demise of our people and the expectations that we should all adhered to the western contrast of incorporation and good governance in a western perspective. This never worked and destroys and takes away the responsibility of elders, senior cultural bosses and woman.
Finally I add that Law and Order must be invested in and enforced as every child must be protected and have education (In language and essence of who they are and also western language and standard educational curriculum), personal hygiene and home keeping to ensure that home is a safe clean place for their upbringing and empowerment. This includes the protection of women and their roles as house maidens is paramount to the security of home. This can allude to the education of men in their roles also as Fathers and men who's roles are to lead and protect the family, the home and the children.
By empowering tribal countries we develop a economic plan for their own sustainability that creates wealth and social and emotional wellbeing through the power of enforcement to have external bodies like mining giants etc to be forced to do a proper negotiated deal with those tribal countries in the good spirit of fairness and good economic partners so we have a win win for all and a lesser burden on tax payers. Wealth building should be every Aboriginal’s right to participate in and benefit from their own countries. This is true reconciliation.
Every Aboriginal person has a main tribal boundary they connect to, this is generally determined by the feminine gene of ancestors and have connections to many other tribal country. But one can only speak and relate to one, this can also be by choice.
Every body has a skin grouping which tells them where they sit and who they are connected to, this also determines when and who they speak for. Every Aboriginal person has a tribe, a Clan and a specific location that they can speak for not the whole tribal boundary, but as a tribe they choose or elect their representatives to the national body.
Like we have states in Australia every tribe has their own tribal estate and this should be respected and managed by those people themselves.
I contribute this small bit of opinion based on my views of the best and safest way forward and add that the leadership by Minister Ken Wyatt and the Government to open up this dialogue and seek submissions is paramount to the future wellbeing of Aboriginal Australia. We must ensure the security of the first peoples is paramount to the nation as the first peoples are still reeling from the very recent colonial attack on our people, countries and languages and the oppression that has been forced on a once very proud people and nation's that had natural governance, laws and jurisdictions that had been eroded by Whiteman's interventions from colonial, explorers, governments, and all religious groups that imposed their views and righteous onto our people.
I hope that this contribution by me is taken seriously and I hope that we can create a positive once and for all system that protects our people and allows a natural convergence in a healthy manner into main stream Australia. After all our Uniqueness in the world is probably the greatest asset that Australia has and yet it can not see it for what it is, this is the big failure.
I would add that this is a breach of the Human Rights of Aboriginal Australia by Australia, it can be termed a criminal and moral negligence. Time will tell if we do not get this right.