Call to an Aboriginal summit in Canberra

Goodooga, northwest NSW, 12 December 09 — Aboriginal political activist, Michael Anderson, is calling for Elders from around the country to join him in Canberra for a ‘New Way’ summit on 30 January 30 and 1 February next year.

The summit will be at the Aboriginal Centre ‘Jabal’ at the Australian National University (ANU).

“This summit is important for our future in order to take back our right to make our own decisions and stamp out the government-appointed spokespersons,” Mr Anderson argues in a media release.

“We must set an agenda for our development and advancement. Yes, we all made mistakes but in a democracy this is our right,” he writes.

“We all learn from mistakes, but here in Australia us Blackfullas are stigmatized as cheats and thieves who have no ability to conduct strategic planning and to properly deliver services to cater for the needs of our people.”

Mr Anderson said the tight stranglehold government bureaucrats have over Aboriginal people’s lives and affairs must be exposed.

“We must now assert in the strongest possible way the message that Australia was indeed invaded by a military force under the control of the British Admiralty.

“In the Instructions to the First Fleet they were asked to ‘conciliate the affections of the Aborigines’, but this is not how it turned out.

“In an interview in the 1880s a farming settler at Brewarrina said that ‘the worst thing that he did was to organize a posse to kill the Aboriginal clan’ whose land he had occupied because ‘they were killing his stock’.

“He went on to say that ‘it was easier to have Aborigines fear you than to get them to love you’.”

“This is what they still do to us,” Anderson said.

“It is now time to stand up and be counted. If the government can ask Tom Calma to put together an organization that has to stand on its own feet by becoming self-sustaining economically then we can do this for ourselves.

“We must inform the government that we have a right to self-determination, never mind what their views are.”

Anderson said: “It is important for us to now pick up on where the former National Aboriginal Conference left off.

“The NAC had got to a point where the Fraser government was under so much pressure by the negotiations of the Treaty that the powers that we were requesting that the government force down the rights that had become a focal point for the NAC in terms of Aboriginal rights then on the table,” Mr Anderson said.

In their formal advice to the Prime Minister on July 15th 1980, the then Federal Attorney-General said that “it would be very desirable to avoid the word TREATY”.

“He went on to say ‘account should be taken of any risk that, in the absence of explicit provisions to the contrary, a claim might be made that the agreement accord a status on which Aboriginals could base a right of ‘self-determination’ as a people.”

“In respect of the NAC itself, the Attorney-General was extremely concerned. He said in a letter of advice to the Prime Minister, ‘the material available to me suggests that the social organization of Aboriginal Australia is different in significant respects from that of those other communities – see , for example, the description of the Cherokees in ‘the Cherokee Nation V. The State of Georgia (1831) 5.pt.1”.

“‘It might be that, with the development of the National Aboriginal Conference – albeit a development based upon Australian law – an Australian Aboriginal ‘community’ is developing and will develop to the point where, if the United States model are followed, it might be conceivably become appropriate to speak of an arrangement between that organized community and the Commonwealth as a ‘treaty’.”

Mr Anderson imputes this is why the federal government, regardless of Labor or Liberal Coalition, will always maintain a divide-and-rule policy against Aborigines.

“It is also the reason why we must now take control of all decisions that affect our lives now and in the future.”

Mr Anderson’s release in full:

I’m calling for a ‘New Way’ summit to take place on 30 January 1 February 2010 at the Aboriginal Centre ‘Jabal’ at the Australian National University (ANU) Canberra.

This summit is so important for our future because we need to take back or right to make our own decisions and stamp out the government- appointed spokespersons.

We must set an agenda for our development and advancement. Yes, we all made mistakes but in a democracy this is our right. We all learn from mistakes, but here in Australia us Blackfullas are stigmatized as cheats and thieves who have no ability to conduct strategic planning and properly deliver services to cater for the needs of our people.

What must be exposed is the tight stranglehold the government bureaucrats have over Aboriginal people’s lives and affairs.

We must now assert in the strongest possible way the message that Australia was indeed invaded by a military force under the control of the British Admiralty. In the Instructions given to the First Fleet they were asked to ‘conciliate the affections of the Aborigines’, but this is not how it turned out.

In an interview in the 1880’s a farming settler at Brewarrina said that ‘the worst thing that he did was to organize a posse to kill the Aboriginal clan’, whose land he had occupied because ‘they were killing his stock’. He went on to say that ‘it was easier to have Aborigines fear you than to get them to love you’. This is what they still do to us.

It is now time to stand up and be counted. If the government can ask Tom Calma to put together an organization that has to stand on its own feet by becoming self sustaining economically then we can do this for ourselves.

We must inform the government that we have a right to self-determination, never mind what their views are. It is important for us to now pick up on where the former National Aboriginal Conference left off.

The NAC had got to the point where the Fraser government was under so much pressure by the negotiations of the Treaty that the powers that be were requesting that the government force down the rights that had now become a focal point for the NAC in terms of Aboriginal rights then on the table.

In their formal advice to the Prime Minister on July 15th 1980 the then Federal Attorney-General said that “it would be very desirable to avoid the word TREATY”. He went on to say “account should be taken of any risk that, in the absence of explicit provisions to the contrary, a claim might be made that the agreement accords a status on which Aboriginals could base a right of ‘self-determination’ as a people.

In respect of the NAC itself, the Attorney-General was extremely concerned. In his letter of advice to the Prime Minister he said “the material available to me suggests that the social organization of Aboriginal Australia is different in significant respects from that of those other communities – see, for example, the description of the Cherokees in ‘the Cherokee Nation v. The State of Georgia (1831) 5.pt.1”. It might be that, with the development of the National Aboriginal Conference – albeit a development based upon Australian law – an Australian Aboriginal ‘community’ is developing and will develop to the point where, if the United States model were followed, it might conceivably become appropriate to speak of an arrangement between that organized community and the Commonwealth as a ‘treaty’.

This is why the federal government, be it Labor or Liberal Coalition, will always maintain a divide-and-rule policy against us. It is also why we must now take control of all decisions that affect our lives now and in the future.

Mr Anderson can be contacted at 02 68296355 landline, 04272 92 492 mobile, 02 68296375 fax,ngurampaa@bigpond.com.au.


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