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The Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in 'Australia' is asserting genuine pre-existing and continuing sovereignty over First Nations' territories, lands waters and natural resources. This is a liberation struggle educating, communicating, advocating and promoting the capacity-building of First Nation clans and Nations towards independence and governance, and involving reparation.. Facebook - Sovereign Union (https://www.facebook.com/SovereignUnion1/)
Updated: 46 min 18 sec ago

Elder: Lifestyles of people living remotely

Sun, 2015/05/17 - 8:16am
Kintore community elder Irene Nangala says Tony Abbott doesn't understand the lifestyles of Aboriginal people living remotely - Ms Nangala said she moved to the remote Aboriginal community of Kintore in the 1980s. Kintore is 500 kilometres west of Alice Springs and around 50 kilometres from the Western Australian border.

‘Sacred’ title eroded from ancient Indigenous art

Fri, 2015/05/15 - 9:02am
Audio file: Ninah Kopel 'The Wire' - The Burrup peninsula is home to the world’s largest and oldest collection of rock art. It was once considered sacred by the Western Australian Government. Now only select areas are considered sacred. There are more than 2,400 registered Aboriginal sites on the Burrup Peninsula, but with ancient art covering the whole region, deregistered areas mean sights of culture could fall through the gaps. - image: 'Burrup Rock Art - Tiger' by Greens MPs on Flickr

Elders concerns over closing homelands

Sun, 2015/05/10 - 6:24am
A group of Aboriginal elders is concerned that moves to shut some remote communities in Western Australia will set a precedent for other parts of the country. After months of speculation the WA Premier Colin Barnett yesterday outlined major reforms to the ways communities are funded. He says Indigenous people will be consulted, but less viable settlements will eventually close. As Natalie Whiting reports, elders and activists used a forum in Adelaide last night to air their concerns about the ripple effects of the WA plan.

Alice Springs: governments likened to 'vigilante groups'

Fri, 2015/05/08 - 9:20pm
A group who've dubbed themselves the 'Alice Springs Volunteer Force' have threatened violence against Aboriginal youth on social media. Aiming to recruit volunteers with firearm experience, the group proposes to crack down on the town's young offenders through vigilante-style action. Blair McFarland from the Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service says the group is deluded and only represents a minute number of people. Mr McFarland said that the current conservative-type NT Government has cut $3m dollars from Alice Springs Youth Services, before that there was some night time activities that targeted the kids who are walking around the streets at night. He likened the this and other governments to vigilante groups.

Understanding Australia's rich and diverse Indigenous languages

Fri, 2015/05/08 - 10:19am
Felicity Meakins, a senior researcher says awareness about Australian Indigenous languages is very low, and that most Australians have little idea about the extent of linguistic diversity across the country. Felicity is a research fellow at the University of Queensland - More about this story here: https://theconversation.com/some-australian-indigenous-languages-you-should-know-40155 From Radio National - 'Afternoons' Presented by Michael Mackenzie

Bruce Pascoe and Karen Dorante shared conversation, on Let’s Talk

Tue, 2015/05/05 - 7:15am
Author of the book ‘Dark Emu – Black Seeds : Agriculture or Accident?” The book argues the idea that the first Australians were hunter gatherers has been invented to undermine Aboriginal people. "My message to my own people," he says, "is the rest of the country's not going to change if we don't stick up for our culture; and our culture was one where we had an agricultural economy." "If we stick up for our culture, it'll be useful not just for us but for the whole of Australia, because some of those crops that our people were growing are going to be useful in the future." 98.9fm, NIRS, Radio Brisbane

A history of indigenous activism

Sat, 2015/05/02 - 10:31am
The Victorian Aborigines Advancement League is the oldest Aboriginal organisation in Australia. Now, the remarkable history of its activism has now come to light. Historian Richard Broome has gathered stories from former and current members and compiled them in a book called 'Fighting Hard'. He joins Patricia Karvelas in The Drawing Room along with actor and director Rachel Maza, who has a personal connection with the League. Image: Gladys Nicholls Hostel for girls, Thornbury, 1958. (Courtesy A & M Jackomos collection.)

Homeless rate of 7% in the Kimberley

Tue, 2015/04/28 - 9:43am
From CAAMA Radio - Western Australia’s Kimberley region continues to see rising levels of homelessness with a new report claiming seven per cent of the region’s predominately Aboriginal population is currently homeless. Gerry Georgatos a long time human rights campaigner and suicide prevention researcher based in Western Australia says the current extent of homelessness in the Kimberley demonstrates the State Governments disregard in dealing with the inequalities that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders face. Mr Georgatos told CAAMA that little has changed for Aboriginal people in Western Australia since the 1967 referendum calling the disparity of homelessness experienced by the First Peoples as ‘racialization’. Mr Georgatos also discussed the adverse effects the looming community closures will have on residents within the Kimberley and surrounding regions over a chat with Kyle Dowling.

Herbert Bropho Still Standing Strong

Tue, 2015/04/28 - 9:01am
The Nyoongar Refugee Camp on Matagarup (Heirisson Island) Perth, Western Australia. in Western Australia again faces forced removal. Over the last few months talks of closures of remote communities in Western Australia has forced many Aboriginal people from across the state and the Country to join together in Perth to show their support to the people that will be homeless if the closures continue. Veteran Nyoongar Rights Campaigner Herbert Bropho speaks to CAAMA radio about the still standing strong for the rights of his people in the face of talks to evict people from the Nyoongar

Our bodies carry the sacred stories of country – Rosalie Kunoth Monks.

Tue, 2015/04/21 - 10:21am
A respected Central Australian Aboriginal Elder has rejected the suggestion that Aboriginal women exposing their bodies during ceremony is offensive. Rosalie Kunoth-Monks a Arrernte and Alyawarra woman told CAAMA Radio that Aboriginal women’s breasts are not considered to be as sexual objects in Aboriginal culture and that they carry and posses power and ancient Law.

SA leaders: community closure concerns

Thu, 2015/04/02 - 9:08pm
MARK COLVIN: Indigenous leaders in South Australia are calling for a guarantee that remote communities in the state won't close as a result of funding cuts. Crisis meetings were held in the state over the weekend, and leaders are calling for an urgent meeting with the State Government. The West Australian Government has suggested closing some communities as a result of Federal Government funding cuts. The South Australian Government says it's pushing the Commonwealth to change its decision, but Indigenous groups say the lack of a plan B is causing anxiety. In Adelaide, Natalie Whiting reports. NATALIE WHITING: The fall out of a Federal Government plan to hand over responsibility for funding remote communities to the states has focussed on Western Australia. But in South Australia, around 60 Indigenous communities are also facing an uncertain future. The funding covers essential services like electricity and water supply and garbage collection. Aboriginal leaders from across South Australia met at the weekend, and say they need an urgent meeting with the State Government. Haydyn Bromley is from South Australia's Aboriginal Lands Trust. HAYDYN BROMLEY: Communities are extremely worried and extremely stressed at the moment. A lot of the Aboriginal people who are living on community are living there and have a very strong connection affiliation to country, which delivers for them their security and their spiritual wellbeing and health. So you force people off the land, you force people out of their country and it will have a negative impact on issues like closing the gap. NATALIE WHITING: The Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett has flagged closing 150 communities in the wake of the federal cuts. In South Australia, the State Government is continuing to fight the Commonwealth's plan. But Mr Bromley says a plan B is needed. HAYDYN BROMLEY: With all due respect to the State Government, it's reassuring to know that they're not planning on closing the communities, but if they don't have a plan B on how they're going to fund the communities, it is closure by stealth. Now it's okay to say, “Yes, we're not going to do this,” but unless they come up with how they're going to stop it, it's going to happen. NATALIE WHITING: Indigenous leaders from all of the affected communities took part in the crisis meeting. They all agreed Indigenous voices need to be involved in the current discussions. HAYDYN BROMLEY: At the moment, our priority is meeting urgently with the State Government to address the issue and business arising from the weekend. Following that we want to… we are seeking a meeting with Minister Scullion to try and address how we're going to navigate forward. NATALIE WHITING: South Australian Greens MLC Tammy Franks has raised the issue in Parliament. TAMMY FRANKS: The Federal Government are the ones who set this ball rolling. The State Government has so far refused the deals offered to it by the Federal Government. The uncertainty is because the Federal Government changed its policies, so let's be clear on that. But the State Government and the Federal Government now just need to both step up and guarantee the future for these Indigenous communities. NATALIE WHITING: The State Minister for Indigenous Affairs Kyam Maher has been holding meetings with his Federal counterpart, Nigel Scullion. Ms Franks says she's hoping to see a resolution shortly. TAMMY FRANKS: I would hope that in the next week or so, we can have an announcement from both those ministers that gives security, that can show that the South Australian and the Federal Government can actually do the right thing by Indigenous communities, and give them certainty of their future essential services. NATALIE WHITING: Would you like the State Government to give a guarantee that it won't look to close communities if the cuts do go ahead? TAMMY FRANKS: Sure, but then the Federal Government would withdraw the money and we'd have to find that as a state somewhere else, and as we know South Australia does struggle with finding money to fund the essentials that we need. And it has been a Federal Government responsibility to date, they shouldn't pull out without guaranteeing that money straight to state. NATALIE WHITING: So do you think, though, if they do pull out, it will be feasible for SA to maintain these communities? TAMMY FRANKS: Well they've always said that they'll pull out with and they've put $10 million on the table prior - that's not enough. There needs to be more on the table from the Feds. NATALIE WHITING: In a statement, the State Minister Kyam Maher said talks with the Federal Government have been positive. He says both governments understand the need to resolve the issue quickly. MARK COLVIN: Natalie Whiting reporting.

USA Media: Dr Binoy Kampmark - Abbott and Aboriginals

Sat, 2015/03/28 - 7:51am
USA MEDIA - This Audio is especially edited by Sovereign Union just to address Abbott and First Nations Peoples issues, especially The Homelands and the Carmichael Mine. KPFK, Pacifica in Southern California discusses these First Nations issues in Australia with guest Dr. Kampmark, who teaches within the Bachelor of Social Science (Legal and Dispute Studies) program at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia --- Australia is considered one of the US’s main allies in the English speaking world. But the conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s increasingly belligerent rhetoric on a number of policy fronts has made him an embarrassing bedfellow of the West. On top of his vehement climate denialism, Abbott has recently been criticized for the appalling treatment of imprisoned asylum seekers that are held on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Manus. Mistreatment of prisoners includes sexual abuse, rape, and physical assault. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, singled out Australia for its abuse of children asylees in particular, to which Prime Minister Abbott responded that he was “sick of being lectured to.” Abbott has also come under fire recently for policies and comments targeting his nation’s indigenous population. His administration has pushed severe cuts to Aboriginal legal services. Those cuts were just reversed after public outrage. But comments that Abbott made earlier in the month underscore the poor relations his government has had with indigenous communities. Abbott claimed it was not the responsibility of tax payers to subsidize the “lifestyle choices” of aboriginal people who live on remote lands and need services. - See more at: http://uprisingradio.org/home/2015/03/27/tony-abbotts-abuses-of-australias-asylum-seekers-and-aboriginal-peoples/#sthash.Lp57WWf9.dpuf

David Lans from the remote community of Kintore, Northern Territory

Tue, 2015/03/24 - 7:57am
Originally from Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, David Lans moved to Kintore, 520 kilometres west of Alice Springs, in a bid to gain employment in nearby mines and start his own earthmoving business. - He is keen to help the people of Kintore become self-sufficient. - "I'm looking to do some community work as well, in parks and gardens, building a community centre and a recording studio as well," he said. - Because of the Kintore's remoteness, infrastructure in the town is limited and the cost of food and water is high. - Mr Lans said he is well aware of the disadvantages facing small communities and wanted local Aboriginal people to run their own businesses. - "There are things we can change for the better," he said. - "We can have our own parks, we can have our own gardens, grow our own vegetables, we can start fish farms and make everything here," he said. - "We can do courses and training. - "We can run this community ourselves." - Mr Lans, who receives unemployment benefits, admitted much of the Kintore community is reliant on government benefits. - "It's been going on for years. They've been doing the Centrelink thing," he said. - "There's been no courses. They're just throwing money, which is the wrong thing. - "If they (the Federal Government) wants us to succeed, they need to help and understand our ways. - "Australia is like a house, not built on strong foundations. - "Australia's going to continue losing money if they don't help all Australians. - "Once they help all, we'll be a great nation."

Community closures: Thousands protest across Australia

Sat, 2015/03/21 - 2:04am
ABC RADIO (PM) -TRANSCRIPT DAVID MARK: Thousands of people have turned out at rallies and marches across Australia to mark Close the Gap Day. The national event aims to highlight the discrepancy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians in life expectancy, employment and education. This year the focus has been on the idea flagged by the Western Australian Government and echoed by the Prime Minister to potentially close up to 150 remote Indigenous communities. The Premier Colin Barnett came face to face with protesters during an intense and at times hostile rally in Perth. Lucy Martin was there. (Sound from protest rally) PROTESTER: If the Government continues to remove us from our lands, then this country is doomed - domestically, internationally and spiritually. Shame! LUCY MARTIN: From Broome to Bendigo, Melbourne to Geraldton, rallies were held in small country towns and major cities across Australia. (Sound from protest rally) PROTESTERS: Shame on you, shame on you, shame on you. LUCY MARTIN: The biggest was in Perth, where more than 1,000 people marched from the CBD to Parliament House, demanding an audience with the Premier Colin Barnett. (Sound from protest rally) PROTESTERS: Abbott, Barnett you go home. You're supporting genocide! PROTESTER 2: Who would have thought in 2015 we're up here protesting about being taken from our traditional lands? LUCY MARTIN: They're furious with the State Government's plans to close up to 150 Aboriginal communities in Western Australia. TAMMY SOLONEC: On this Close the Gap Day we're saying to people let's close the gap, not the communities! PROTESTER 3: We want to live, we don't want to just struggle and survive! LUCY MARTIN: The Commonwealth is transferring responsibility for funding the settlements to the State Government which says it can't afford to keep them all open. The Premier Colin Barnett addressed the crowd on the steps of Parliament House. COLIN BARNETT: Can I say, can I say to you, no Aboriginal people will be forced from their lands, no Aboriginal people will be forced from their communities. (Sound of outcry and protesting from crowd) LUCY MARTIN: Mr Barnett was jeered and abused when he told protesters to put themselves in his shoes. COLIN BARNETT: My issue is, and it's your issue as much as it's mine - probably more yours than mine - is how can we ensure that boys and girls go to school? How can we ensure that they are safe? (Sound of outcry and protesting from crowd) How can we reduce alcohol and drug usage? (Sound of outcry and protesting from crowd) I would be failing you as the Premier of this state if I ignored those issues. PROTESTER 4: You're are failing us! COLIN BARNETT: You will not like me for that, but I will not resile from that. LUCY MARTIN: The Premier was ushered away by his security team after a protester lunged at him. Indigenous lawyer and Amnesty International campaigner Tammy Solonec also addressed the rally. TAMMY SOLONEC: Moving Aboriginal people from their homelands will be harder than making these communities sustainable and viable. It will cause intergenerational trauma. It will break connections to land and culture. LUCY MARTIN: Sandy Davies, who attended a rally in Geraldton, 400 kilometres north of Perth, says Aboriginal people have been left in the dark. SANDY DAVIES: What we really need Colin Barnett to do is to come out - because all he has said is he intends to close 150 communities. He hasn't actually come out and given us any explanation about how he's going to do it, where he's going to do it, and which regions. LUCY MARTIN: In Adelaide, hundreds of protesters gathered on the steps of Parliament House. Thirteen communities in South Australia's remote APY lands (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara ) are also in limbo because of the Commonwealth's withdrawal of funds. Local elder Tauto Sansbury. TAUTO SANSBURY: You move them from their land, you commit cultural genocide. You're killing off their culture, their customs, their songs, their dance, their tradition. LUCY MARTIN: The State Government says it's pushing for the Commonwealth to reconsider. But Mr Sansbury says that's not good enough. TAUTO SANSBURY: I'd like to get a definite answer from Jay Weatherill and Kyam Maher to say no we're not going to close Aboriginal communities down and we'll find an alternative way of paying for municipal services. Because if you look at the mining industry and the royalties, money can come out of that and there's no need to do this and create what we're calling genocide, cultural genocide. LUCY MARTIN: While in Launceston, protester Trudy Maluga from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre had a clear message for the Prime Minister. TRUDY MALUGA: We're saying to the captain, as he has called himself previously, that your call on this is wrong. It is an infringement of human rights. It is getting talked about internationally and it's making Australia look shameful. DAVID MARK: That's Tasmanian protester Trudy Maluga ending Lucy Martin's report.

Warren Mundine pretends concern on homelands

Wed, 2015/03/18 - 10:36pm
Warren Mundine wants answers on Indigenous Advancement Strategy funding decisions Lindy Kerin reported this story on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 12:15:00 Listen to MP3 of this story ( minutes) | MP3 DOWNLOAD ELEANOR HALL: When the Prime Minister's chief adviser on Indigenous affairs meets Tony Abbott this afternoon, he says he'll have a few things to get off his chest. Warren Mundine says he wants a detailed briefing about recent funding decisions under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy. He says he will also have a bit to say about the Prime Minister's comments that remote Indigenous communities are a "lifestyle choice". As the two meet today, more details are already emerging about the funding of Indigenous organisations. Lindy Kerin has our report. LINDY KERIN: Since the 1970s, the Bloodwood Tree Association in South Hedland in Western Australia's Pilbara region has run a crisis accommodation centre and drug and alcohol service. The association's CEO Bob Neville says he applied for funding under the Federal Government's new Indigenous Advancement Strategy back in September. BOB NEVILLE: We were advised by letter from the Minister that we were successful in our funding and then three hours later we were told, yes we were successful but out of $1.3 million over 2.5 years we applied for, we were successful for $208,000 and that the hostel would not be funded and we would have to close it. LINDY KERIN: Bob Neville says there is another hostel in the town, but that's currently full, and with average rentals being about $1,100 a week, his clients will have nowhere to go. He says the whole funding process has been frustrating. BOB NEVILLE: We're in remote area, we're some 2,000 kilometres out of Perth in the Pilbara and nobody has bothered to speak to us at all about the hostels program, nobody has bothered to speak to us about the substance abuse program, they've just come and said nup, not funding, close the doors, see ya later. If I could get a plane from here to Canberra, I think I'd be on that and I'd be going over there and talking to some of those senators because what they are doing is crucifying the Indigenous people here in the Pilbara. LINDY KERIN: The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples recently called out to its members and organisations to get a clearer picture of the Government's funding decisions. The Congress co-chair is Kirstie Parker KIRSTIE PARKER: A very small number of them have indicated that they've received partial funding, most of them have said they've received no funding whatsoever. We said to them what would be the likely impact on your organisation and they've told us that projects and programs and some organisations will be crippled, if not unable to continue, so they will be unviable as at the 30th of June. This also means some essential services will cease in our communities, including services for women, for kids, educational initiatives, legal services and jobs, so in effect, there will be an obliteration of a very large chunk of the Indigenous community landscape. LINDY KERIN: The Federal Government says 41 per cent of more than 2,000 organisations that applied for funding have been successful. The World Today has sought specific information, but we've been told the details of each grant will be listed on the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website within 14 days of the agreement taking effect. Kirstie Parker says the new Indigenous Advancement Strategy has been a disaster. KIRSTIE PARKER: We are hearing very high levels of frustration with the process and of course people will be upset and distressed and unhappy if the decision is an outright no. Some are hanging in there because they've been told, look you're unsuccessful, but we'd like to talk to you about other opportunities. Many of the people that have been told, or the organisation that have been told they were successful, have actually received a mere fraction of what they applied for, in some cases just 5 or 10 per cent of what they sought. Many people are feeling insulted that they've been, this has been couched as successful, when in fact it is not an amount of money that would allow them to even take up the grant. LINDY KERIN: The chair of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council Warren Mundine is meeting with Prime Minister today and will be briefed about the funding decisions. WARREN MUNDINE: We're waiting for the briefing, we'd like to see that list be out there for everyone to see so it's all transparent. As I said from day one when you're going on a reform agenda, there are going to be people who are going to be happy and there's going to be people who's not going to be happy. Our main focus is on getting the reforms in that are going to close the gap over the next few years. LINDY KERIN: And if there are decisions that you're not happy with, what sort of course of action can you take? WARREN MUNDINE: Well, that's a hypothetical, I'll get to that when we have a look at those conversations. LINDY KERIN: The Prime Ministers' recent comments about taxpayers funding the lifestyle choices of some Indigenous people will also be on the agenda. Warren Mundine says he's still deeply disappointed and he'll be talking to Tony Abbott about getting the conversation about the viability of remote communities back on track. WARREN MUNDINE: Using the word "lifestyle choices" drowned out what his message was is regard to how do we handle remote communities and looking at economic development, looking at community safety, looking at a wide range of issues. And that's why I'm particularly, was frustrated and angry with the choice of words when we had a serious debate that we had to deal with. ELEANOR HALL: That's Warren Mundine, the chairman of the Indigenous Advisory Council, speaking to Lindy Kerin.

Stop the Forced Closure of Aboriginal Communities

Mon, 2015/03/16 - 10:32am
Joining CAAMA radio is Mitch Torres from the Kimberley, Western Australia Remote Aboriginal Communities in Western Australia’s Kimberley region have announced a global call to action to stop the forced closure of Aboriginal communities which are causing people to leave their homelands due to state and federal governments withdrawal of support of basic essential services. People all over Australia have been show their support for those that have been effected by the proposals to shut down 150 remote Aboriginal in Western Australia and Thursday the 19th of March across the nation will be celebrating close the gap day, yet for many people they feel the gap has significantly widened.

Nyoongar Refugee Camp holds its ground !

Thu, 2015/03/12 - 6:07am
Campers at the Nyoongar Tent Embassy on Perth’s Heirisson Island has been given until midday today (Thursday) to pack up and leave. Last week the Embassy declared the site a refuge for homeless people being displaced from their communities… but W.A. Today reports the City of Perth has arranged for welfare support agencies to visit the camp and offer support to homeless individuals. The paper reports the city is planning for the worst case scenario of forced eviction. Marianne McKay tells CAAMA the W.A. Government is breaking its own laws by forcibly removing her people from the island.

First Nations warfare in colonial Australia

Thu, 2015/03/12 - 5:36am
In his new book, The Story of Australia's People, Geoffrey Blainey writes that one of the reasons aboriginal tribes didn’t effectively resist European settlement was that they were militarily weak. Indigenous tribes often fought with each other rather than launch coordinated attacks against settlers. An alternative view comes from expert in indigenous history, Dr Ray Kerkhove, who has done new research on indigenous warfare in Queensland in the 19th century.

Jack Charles goes back to Prison in his new play

Thu, 2015/03/12 - 4:23am
Castlemaine State Festival: John Romeril and Jack Charles Radio National - Arts Today 12 March 2015 Going Through is a new production by playwright John Romeril, starring veteran actor; indigenous elder and activist, Uncle Jack Charles. - Based on a true story from Jack Charles' time as an inmate at 'Old Castlemaine Gaol,' it premieres at the Castlemaine State Festival on the grounds of the goal itself.

People to be displaced by homelands closures labelled 'refugees in own land'

Sat, 2015/03/07 - 10:22am
National Indigenous Radio 98.9fm - Warren Barnsley - The Noongar Tent Embassy in Perth say they want to bring International attention to the Western Australian Government's plans to defund remote communities. - The Embassy on Matagarup, or Heirisson Island, has set up a 'refugee camp' to take in displaced Indigenous peoples if communities are closed and people forced off their land. - Noongar advocate Marianne Mackay told 98.9fm shutting down First Nations homelands is a policy which harks back to early colonial days.

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