Media Release: 25 April 2011
By Michael Anderson and Ellie Gilbert
Canberra 25 April 2011, Anzac Day -- The Aboriginal New Way Sovereignty Summit here over Easter was informed that given the state of Aboriginal Affairs in this country today it is now time to make a dramatic return to proactive political action.
Within the coming months legal submissions will be completed for two challenges. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will be asked for an Advisory Opinion on the status of the Aboriginal Sovereignty.
The second legal challenge will be in the European Court of Human Rights where an application will be made for compensation and reparation from the British in respect to the colonisation, dispossession, usurpation of our natural wealth and resources.
The core of the latter legal application will focus on the absolute dispossession of Aboriginal lands that has caused us to become internally displaced Peoples and refugees.
The New Way Sovereignty Summit was also reminded of the ongoing effects of government policies that are causing mental harm to the group and conditions of life that are destroying our Aboriginal communities and individuals.
Each of these matters contribute to genocide under the international Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
The Summit concluded that a declaration of cession be finalised and forwarded to the Governor-General and prime Minister of Australia with respect to the land which the Aboriginal Tent Embassy currently occupies opposite the old parliament house.
In doing this the Council of Elders and Youth elected by participants of the Summit have requested that the new secretariat of the Aboriginal Embassy also writes to all embassies, which occupy Aboriginal lands, informing them of this action and asking them to come to the Aboriginal Embassy to identify themselves and pay respect to the Elders past and present.
The Summit was approached by non-Aboriginal people over the weekend seeking a visa of approval for them to visit and stay on Aboriginal land throughout Australia.
However, it was decided that, although the Embassy could issue a visa for their presence, it is more appropriate for them to tell the Aboriginal Embassy of the lands they wish to visit and in turn the Embassy secretariat would advise them of the appropriate protocols they should observe as they travel throughout Australia.
The New Way Sovereignty Summit received graphic grassroots submissions detailing the horrors of life as an Aboriginal person in Australia.
The feel good statistics that have been put out in recent times by government and other agencies on what they describe as successful outcomes of closing the gap, pale into insignificance when we hear emotional pleas from Aboriginal women describing the youth suicide epidemic which is gripping Aboriginal communities.
It is very sad indeed to hear that Facebook has become a vehicle through which our Aboriginal youth are comparing the most effective and least painful ways to commit suicide. The code for suicide is ‘turning off the sun’.
Another prominent issue that has come back to life is Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
It was said that an arrested Aboriginal person has to run the gauntlet of first being in police custody then being placed in custodial transport, then being incarcerated in a prison.
At each stage we now have records that indicate that all three stages have increased their statistics of Aboriginal deaths since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1987-1991).
On a positive note it is great to see that our youth are beginning to step up to the mark and acknowledge that the current Elders who have been leading this struggle for 40 or 50 years must be acknowledged but have agreed that it is time for our youth to assume a more active political role.
Having said this the youth have agreed to take advantage of their knowledge of modern communication methods to inform our people and call upon them to stand with us because just as the youth of the 1960s and 70s did, we too can effect change to our existing circumstances but we must engage ourselves and commit ourselves to our identity as Aboriginal people and let everybody know that we are Aboriginal and that this country was and always will be Aboriginal land.
Contact Michael Anderson 0427 292 492
Click here for a radio interview with Michael wrapping up the summit. Hear it in one whole or in four parts.