NT Indigenous communities June 21, 2007Posted by Amanda in Australia, Australian politics, Indigenous issues, Media, politics.
John Howard has just announced a takeover of Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.
There are so many issues that come out of this.
Is this setting back Aboriginal self determination decades? I am sure that this is going to be discussed ad nauseum in the days ahead. I think it could have. Communities and the Territory government have lost their ability to govern themselves.
But the key question for me is- have the Indigenous people affected or indeed any Indigenous people been consulted about this move? I haven’t heard that yet. It is pretty difficult to consult when you dismantle the body through which Aboriginal people had a voice. As flawed as ATSIC might have been, it was something.
And the larger issue is what is the long term plan? Where is the government’s plan to address the underlying causes of this dysfunction. I have read about housing reforms and the health checks but the problem goes a lot deeper than that. They have known about these problems for years, if not decades- why now? And what are they going to do to allow Indigenous people to determine the best ways to help their communities. This roughshod approach may only cause more anger and resentment in the end.
And finally, I am sitting here completing an assignment about Indigenous voices in the media- or the lack of. Where are the comments from Indigenous leaders about these plans? SMH and News.com have some Indigenous comments but at the very bottom of their articles. ABC had none as yet in the stories I’ve read. We should be hearing from those who are affected by this the most. They should be the first voices we hear- not the last.