Nuns to pope: Revoke 15th-century doctrine that allows Christians to seize native land →

"…rather than reconsider their racist ‘solution’ to Australia’s nuclear waste problem – that is, dumping it on Aboriginal land – the Abbott government is desperately trying to find another remote site [after the Muckaty people successfully stood against a dump on their territory]. The NT government is actively assisting, with Chief Minister Adam Giles upping the ante and supporting the idea that an international nuclear dump could be the antidote to Aboriginal poverty."

the dumps, which include shallow unlined trenches for medical waste and above-ground sheds for nuclear waste, are being called “temporary” but will be in place for a minimum of 300 years. in return, they are promising $11 million in a charity trust for infrastructure, and a $1 million scholarship fund.

granted i am not very good at math and am definitely not one of those scientists that does nuclear waste risk assessments or whatever….but seems more than a little fishy that they expect an Aboriginal community to host toxic waste that will pretty much undoubtedly fuck up their water, air, land, and bodies for 10 generations, when they’re willing to pay them an amount that won’t even provide for 1 generation. [source]


Reko RennieOriginal, 2012
Acrylic, spray-paint, black light and reclaimed Australian flag from the 1950s

"As we were driving home one evening, we noticed a young girl hitchhiking. It was late at night, cold, and raining outside. She was young, First Nations, and not dressed for the weather. As we stopped to pick her up, we noticed a white truck stop on the other side of the road, and two guys got out and walked towards her. We cut them off, and told her to hop in. We drove her deeper and deeper into the woods, onto dirt roads with no street lighting. She told us her story — 17 years old, First Nations, tough upbringing…This was just weeks after the gruesome murder of Tyesha Jones, and we dropped her off within kilometres of where the body had been found. We wrote to the local paper, and it made the front page. A few weeks later, that same local newspaper reported the attempted abduction of a 17-year-old girl, on the same road, by men in a white truck…I’ve come to believe that injustices exist because we, as a society, allow them to exist. Until the people [demand] better from our leaders, nothing will change, and Aboriginal girls will continue to go missing in record numbers, numbers that already concern the U.N."
"We go into First Nations communities to talk to youth about gangs. When asked, the kids estimate that about 95% of Aboriginal youth is involved in gangs. The actual number is 3%."

Susan Swan, an Ojibway from the Lake Manitoba First Nation

The impact of stereotyping young people

(via urbannativemag)



Indigenous Style Icon: Lois Peeler (Yorta Yorta)

Lois Peeler is a Yorta Yorta woman from Shepparton, in the Goulburn Valley. She was Australia’s first Aboriginal model, and landed her first major modeling contract in 1961. 

After her modeling career, Lois and her sister Laurel Robinson toured Vietnam as entertainment for the American troops during the Vietnam War. Lois & Laurel, along with their cousins Naomi Mayers and Beverly Briggs, grew up in a rural reserve where access to entertainment like television and radio was limited, so they began singing with each other for entertainment at a young age; after the four of them were discovered performing at a local bar, they were recruited to sing Motown for the troops in Vietnam. Naomi and Beverly declined (Naomi has later said she refused to go because she was protesting the war), but Laurel & Lois took the opportunity and flew to Vietnam. They were widely popular among Black audiences, but often experienced extreme racism from white men in the military—they were even denied accommodations on several bases due to the color of their skin, and were forced to sleep on the stage. 

Her nephew Tony Briggs has written a musical inspired by his mother and Lois’s story, which was recently turned into a feature film, called The Sapphires (named for Lois, Laurel, Naomi, & Beverly’s group). Tony describes his inspiration for writing the play as the following: “”I was thinking about these great black women, who have achieved such great things,” he says. ”I thought about Mum and my aunties and the other women … They’re all unsung heroes.” The film has received critical acclaim, and addresses issues relating to intergenerational trauma, single motherhood, identity issues, cultural disconnect, residential schools & the Stolen Generations, though it weaves these things into what is otherwise a fun narrative on the adventures of the women during their stint as international performers. 

When Peeler returned to Australia, she joined her mother, sisters, and cousins in Aboriginal rights struggles. As she explains in her biography, she takes inspiration from the strong woman leaders in her own family—

I suppose that my values, my experience, my passion, my direction has been shaped by my family experiences. I come from a long line of very strong women. Both my grandmothers were very strong in their own right.

My mother, Geraldine Briggs, was very much involved in the campaigns to bring about improvement in the living conditions of our people – she was politically motivated by harsh conditions on Cummeragunja Aboriginal Reserve, which caused families to flee the mission in the Cummeragunja Walk Off in 1938. The battle for survival kept her active in Aboriginal affairs. Her sister, Aunty Marg (Aunty Margaret Tucker) had her story recorded in A Lousy Little Sixpence and her book If Everyone Cared, which told the story of the three girls (mum’s sisters) being taken away by the authorities while my Nan was off working, and put into Cootamundra Girls Home. My mother was 95 when she passed, but she never forgot what that did to the family. She worked all her life to improve things for our people.

My mother and sisters, Hyllus and Margaret, were actively involved in the Federal Council of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI), which was instrumental in gaining the 1967 Referendum results. The women members of FCAATSI proposed the formation of a women’s group to deal with issues such as health and housing. This saw the formation of the National Council of Aboriginal and Islander Women in 1969. My mother and my sister, Margaret Wirrpanda, and Aunty Merle Jackomos formed the executive. It was the Aboriginal women’s movement, which was instrumental in establishing the Health Service and Aboriginal Legal Service way back then.

My sister, Hyllus, started Worawa College because she had the experience of trying to get an education at a public school where the Aboriginal kids weren’t welcome, weren’t catered for and were ostracised. So I think it became her mission to have a place where the kids could celebrate Aboriginal culture, where the curriculum was relevant and they were educated in a loving and caring environment. And that’s what we have today. At Worawa, we focus on academic achievement, through an integrated education, culture and wellbeing model – but we are not miracle workers. A lot of the kids that come here have often had very negative education experiences, so our task is to nurture each child to live positively, develop self-confidence and pride, and to equip them with social skills for a meaningful, satisfying and productive life.

Being at Worawa is bringing together all those things that are part of my background and experience. My sister, Hyllus, was the writer and co-founder of Women of the Sun; my mother’s involvement in the Aborigines Advancement League, FCAATSI and the National Council of Aboriginal and Islander Women’s movement; and the actions of all of my family members, father, uncles, sisters, aunties, cousins, and others have shaped my life.

Lois Peeler is now Executive Director of Worawa Aboriginal College, a girl’s secondary school which strives to instill pride in self and culture among their students (who are all Aboriginal), and provide a strong education grounded in indigenous perspectives and community knowledges. 

awesome lady! The Sapphires is one of my favorite movies.

Alberta upholding ban of aboriginal groups at oilsands hearing →

"For years we have been saying [violence against aboriginal women] is not a women’s issue, [and it] is not a native problem. This is a Canadian human-rights issue…This is racialized, sexualized violence. This is about hate crimes in this country, aboriginal women being targeted for extreme sexual violence because they are aboriginal women. And we need that changed."
- Jennifer Lord, Native Women’s Association of Canada [source]

Support Native-Created Film, Just Another Dead Indian →


from their Indiegogo page:

This Docudrama explores the circumstances surrounding the mysterious deaths of 10 Aboriginal men in Canada over a span of 25 years. With dramatic re-enactments of the actual events, archival footage and on-camera interviews with immediate family, friends and legal counsel - we look into the heart of this never-ending ‘issue’ and constantly wonder - how and why did their lives end so tragically and senselessly?

The image of Canada as a multi-cultural and racially tolerant society is its national pride, with “equality for all” as its constitutional ethos.  But for Native people, this is not the reality.  Police harassment, confrontations and brutality are the daily norm.  Police brutality simply does not warrant the same level of scrutiny, due, in part, to their socio-economic circumstances and the view that Indians are faceless. This film highlights the men who had a name, a family, and a community who were ultimately impacted by their deaths.  It puts a face to the startling statistics and a voice to lives lost exposing the “Just Another Dead Indian” syndrome.

“Just Another Dead Indian” is important to educate and create awareness on a global scale to end the injustices that Native people here in Canada experience—specifically—in the justice and corrections systems and their encounters with the police.  With dramatic re-enactments and interviews with family members, community leaders and legal experts, this film will provide a Voice for the Voiceless.

iDecolonize: Indigenous language-learning mobile apps →


omg this is so cool! there’s apps listed for the following languages: Inuktitut, Nyoongar, Iwaidja, Cree, Anindilyakwa, Māori, Haida, Tsilhqot’in, Sliammon, Halq’eméylem, Aymara, Quechua, Guaraní, Yugambeh, Ojibwe, Konkow, Navajo, Inuvialuktun, Dakota, Hoocąk, Blackfeet, Lakota, Ponca, Mvskoke, Cherokee, Tlicho Dene, & North Slope Iñupiaq. 


Paris rooftop display shows Indigenous artist Lena Nyadbi’s work to the world

Western Australian contemporary artist Lena Nyadbi was commissioned to design a piece specifically for the roof terrace of the Musée du quai Branly. She came up with a black-and-white painting called Dayiwul Lirlmim, or Barramundi Scales, inspired by her mother’s homeland in Dayiwul Country.

A large-scale reproduction of the work, made with the same kind of rubberised paint used for traffic signs, now fills the museum’s 700-square-metre rooftop terrace. The installation was designed to be visible from several different levels of the nearby Eiffel Tower, which draws in around seven million visitors every year. It will even be visible from space, thanks to satellite mapping technology.

Read more.

things i learned today



Australian indigenous people make up 3% of the total population, but almost 30% of the prison population.

This is the highest indigenous imprisonment rate in the world.

They are being imprisoned faster than South Africans during Apartheid were.

In response to our recent discussion about racism in Australia, baristar sent me this post and my jaw literally just hit the floor.

Wow. Absolutely heart-wrenching.

“Better than those other racist white countries” my ass. 


By Dwayne Bird

Idle No More


A rising movement is set to bring its message of First Nations solidarity, and defense of First Nations rights, to the doorstep of Canada’s Conservative government. Please share. #idlenomore #firstnations #inuit #metis #humanrights #fuckstephenharper

#IdleNoMore AFN: The following statement was adopted unanimously by Chiefs in Assembly


We, the original peoples of Turtle Island hereby assert our sovereignty as Nations, entrusted to us by the Creator,

As First Nations peoples, we are guided by principles of peace, harmony and respect; we are also bestowed with the responsibility by the Creator to defend our territories, including traditional and Treatylands,

We have maintained these principles despite the imposition of illegal government legislation and policies against our citizens,

In solidarity, we categorically reject the assimilation and termination policies used by the government of Canada against our nations and our citizens and,

We support the participation of all First Nations peoples in decision-making processes that impact our inherent and treaty rights,

We unconditionally reject any Canadian or provincial legislation, policies, or processes that impact our lands, air, waters and resources which have not obtained our free, prior, and informed consent,

In order to ensure economic stability and protection of our environment, development projects or anyother initiatives that may impact our Nations requires our full and inclusive participation and our free, prior and informed consent,

To protect the integrity of our treaty and inherent rights, we hereby put the Government of Canada on notice that any further imposition of legislation and/or policies will be met with appropriate measures,

We formally call upon our citizens – our men, youth, women, elders, warriors and all other allies – to unify and support one another during this time of attacks on our governments and nations,

The First Nation Chiefs in Assembly, from this day forward, declare unity and resolve to forcefully defend our lands, territories, peoples and jurisdiction.