Scholar’s paper points to Aboriginal mineral rights

Goodooga, northwest NSW, Sunday, 13 February 2011 - - When Aboriginal activists meet in Canberra at Easter they will have in front of them a paper that suggested to the Howard government that Aboriginal people are likely to test the crown ownership of minerals.

Michael Anderson, convener of the New Way Sovereignty Summits, quotes from an essay by Dr Stephen Davis to a conference of the Samuel Griffith Society stating that, “If Crown ownership of minerals is affirmed…..there may well be a case for compensation mounted by indigenous groups.”

Michael (Euahlayi name Ghillar) writes in a media release that the brief about mineral and land rights claims was circulated amongst racist protagonists when the then Prime Minister, John Howard, was proposing his government 10-point-plan to parliament in 1998.

Ghillar quotes from the Davis paper: “A case is likely to be constructed by Aboriginal people, on the basis of sovereignty, to test the crown ownership of minerals. If a case for sovereignty is successful, then there may be latitude for a claim for compensation in respect of at least the royal minerals, or a royalty payable to indigenous groups for the royal minerals extracted, both past, present and future. If Crown ownership of minerals is affirmed in the amendments then there may well be a case for compensation mounted by indigenous groups. The States are wary of this possibility and have subsequently encouraged the Federal Government to avoid any affirmation of Crown Ownership.”

“That frightens them to this day,” Ghillar writes.

Leader of the Euahlayi Nation and sole survivor of the four young Black Power activists who set up the Aboriginal embassy in 1972, Ghillar writes that Aborigines across this country “must get back the fire that was in our bellies in our 1960’s-70’s generation”.

“Maybe it was because we were teenagers who had the courage of our convictions. A conviction that was instilled into us because we lived through open and racist oppression when we were prisoners of the state, locked away on government and church mission stations because we were wards of the state, not free people.”

Ghillar says he receives calls from all over Australia saying that the police are out of control “and are hammering our people just for walking in groups down a street”.

“It appears from the various reports that state police are out to deliberately provoke our people. The daily local court appearances and the records demonstrate this very clearly.

“We must ask, is this a deliberate ploy by the state to engage the minds of the white populace by making it appear as if Aborigines are not to be trusted and are criminals by nature?”

Get the fire back in the bellies

Ghillar’s statement in full:

Our people across this country must get back the fire that was in our bellies which prevailed in our 1960’s-70’s generation.

Maybe it was because we were teenagers who had the courage of our convictions. A conviction that was instilled into us because we lived through open and racist oppression when we were prisoners of the state, locked away on government and church mission stations because we were wards of the state. Not free people.

This was a time when our people were criminalized because they drank alcohol. Now we are criminalized just because we are Aborigines. Just look at the prison statistics.

I receive calls from all over Australia saying that the police are out of control and are hammering our people just for walking in groups down a street. It appears from the various reports that state police are out to deliberately provoke our people. The daily local court appearances and the records demonstrate this very clearly.

The question that we must ask, “is this a deliberate ploy by the state to engage the minds of the white populace by making it appear as if Aborigines are not to be trusted and are criminals by nature, and that law and order is the order of the day?” This practice works to deny basic human rights and the freedoms that come with a free and just society. When put to the test on this, the states’ spin doctors argue that if you are obeying the law, then you will not be targeted by the police. Tell this to our kids and youth who are the targets of this police harassment for just being there.

Or does this state act represent a hidden factor designed to have the minds of the white population focused on personal security issues, thereby hiding the real motivation that drives the state and their police force?

We know that the greater majority of Aboriginal people is totally welfare dependent, prisoners to their own survival needs and as a consequence cannot see how being politically active will put food on their tables and pay the rent. But there is a real need to now take a stand.

The New Way Sovereignty Summit participants have been provided with a copy of a brief that was circulated amongst our racist protagonists when the then Prime Minister John Howard was proposing his government 10-point-plan to parliament in 1998.

The brief expressed anger because the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs at the time could only guarantee that the amendments could only go as far as restricting Aboriginal claims to 70% of the land mass as opposed to the racist campaigners of going back to the pre-WIK period of only 38% of the land mass available for claim.

But there was another factor that frightens them and still does to this day. In the same brief Dr. Stephen Davis of the Samuel Griffith Society said, “A case is likely to be constructed by Aboriginal people, on the basis of sovereignty, to test the crown ownership of minerals. If a case for sovereignty is successful, then there may be latitude for a claim for compensation in respect of at least the royal minerals, or a royalty payable to indigenous groups for the royal minerals extracted, both past present and future. If Crown ownership of minerals is affirmed in the amendments then there may well be a case for compensation mounted by indigenous groups. The States are wary of this possibility and have subsequently encouraged the Federal Government to avoid any affirmation of Crown Ownership.”

This advice also pointed out how fragile the states’ claims to minerals are when in the same brief it was pointed out that “NSW relies on the Royal prerogative to underpin its ownership of the Royal Minerals (Gold and Silver)”. I wonder was this and the question of Aboriginal sovereignty the main discussion points between the Queen, Lowitja O’Donahue, Pat Dodson, Peter Yu and others in 1999 at Buckingham Palace. Did they agree to stifle debate, run interference in Aboriginal politics and work with the Australian Government to deny us our rights?

Our Aboriginal collaborators do not say a thing about the Wild Rivers Act in Queensland that provides a greater bucket load of extinguishment than John Howard’s 10-point-plan. Then there are the NSW Cultural Heritage changes that create greater divides between us and our cultural heritage.

The greatest fear of the government is our claims to sovereignty and our right to self-determination. It is no wonder former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser chose to change Aboriginal affairs policy from Whitlam’s right of self determination to self-management, with the support of the same Aboriginal collaborator.

For coverage of previous summits click here.

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

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White man should stay out of it

Diet Simon you got no idea white man should stop trying to be a do gooders you dont walk the same walk as i do stay out of it.

Why I'm in it

Point 1: Luckily my mate Ghillar has wanted me to stay in it for the past 15 years or so and watches that I don't breach too many protocols - I'm a learner.

Point 2: He and most of the blackfellas I know are very aware that without whitefellas of good intention as your allies, your cause goes nowhere.

Point 3: Stop being a racist towards non-Indigenous people.

Point 4: Have a listen to http://www.noosacommunityradio.org/?s=Tribal+Voice

Point 5: Peace and brotherhood, mate.

Diet

Your way is destroying our fragile ecosystem

Diet, i don't think you talk appropriately. Don't you realise that your presence alone is enough. Black people have had ENOUGH. Your ego is still huge when you utter these words of 'He and most of the blackfellas I know are very aware that without whitefellas of good intention as your allies, your cause goes nowhere'. Can you still not see that on the one hand you feel as though you are helping but your way is destroying our fragile ecosystem?

Perhaps us white women understand things better than the white man because you have had all of the power with your ego for too long.

Murrundindi is not saying this to be cruel to you to stay out of his affairs and you read it as cruel and you become defensive. You do not understand that there was tribal living not 'one way' which America pushes...to do with economics and money and power..the black people have had to adapt to white man's law but the white man NEVER adapts to black man's law. How many white people do you know who are living with the land and not against it? Not mining and not supporting this abusive system? How many whities are fighting for the last bit of land in East Gippsland with the Lake Tyers women? Do you now understand that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH...Look at Japan for sky's sake. Look at the radioactive material facility and then look at Muckaty...familiar ha? We need to stop building concrete and steel structures and stop depleting the earth....I am so tired of this materialism...it is making people physically and mentally ill. We need to dismantle these gas structures etc etc etc

Please understand and keep a check on your ego. If you want to comment then keep it civilised, keep it black because there is no point in being defensive. It does not solve anything. It is time to kill the ego.

What remedy for being few and far between in their own culture?

"How many white people do you know who are living with the land and not against it?"

If we were more of us then people who have not been affected by so many generations of empire would certainly be less busy with it. But can someone who never had to make the experience of being few and far between in their own culture know any remedy to it?

Where's the connection?

I fail to see how my helping my Aboriginal friend of many years with his media statements is destroying our fragile eco system. The message is his, I merely help him to put it out there.

Nor can I see anything uncivilised in my response to Yothu Murrindindi.

Interesting and valid though what you write generally is, I also fail to see how it connects to the original story told here by Michael (Ghillar) Anderson.

Why not write to him directly how strongly you feel about these things? His details are at the bottom of the story for all to see/use.

Best,

Diet

You're a part of the problem not the solution

while you may think you are a friend of my people my people look at you as a tool I know who you are.your a part of the problem not the solution enough of this black fella white fella stuff this only creates division I find it offensive Please stop.

Time to listen to Indigenous Peoples and act accordingly

Difficult times. We are at a point where it is bubbling over. In the 1970s in Australia I felt this scorching sun on my skin which felt really uncomfortable. The 'remedy' is for all the lateral thinkers of the world to come together, people like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Indigenous Australian elders and all of the Indigenous peoples to lead the way. We do not want right wing think tanks (i.e. bankers and mining companies) only people who are thinking ecology, respect for the fire, water, air and the earth and space and all sentient beings and not worshipping their cars and their factories. No more materialism. We need to start re-organising ourselves. We need not live with this land right and that land right but let people live on the land without some racist white bloke (probably about ten years younger than i was) getting his rocks off asking me "where is your bike helmet young lady".. This sort of human being makes me want to vomit. Ego driven existence that they have. I am responsible for my own actions not somebody else, including this racist copper who has absolutely no jurisdiction over my mind and my body. If I choose not to wear a pair of socks or if I choose to smoke marijouana, or if I choose to make love to somebody of my own choice, it is my own responsibility for the outcomes and I don't need some patriarchal bloke pointing a finger. It is very demeaning and unethical and ego driven. We need secular ethics in education. We need our tribes back. We need the water courses to flow freely. We need science to come in and clean the water if it is dirty. We need a century of re building nature and bringing it back closely to its pristine condition. We need a world where we eat organic food. We grow our own in our backyards. Where there are no chemicals used. Where we do not kill animals for nothing. We need education based on awareness, reality and concepts. We need more compassion and awareness. We need to kill the EGO. We need not engage in commercial activity. We need to get our priorities in order. We need no more war. Last century, yes there were loads of Jewish people killed during the second world war as the tv always mentions but let's not forget that 200 million people were killed last century. Let's not add favouritism to the numbers or religious persuasions of people killed. Let's get bloody real. Let's become honest in reporting the facts. Let's do away with money and start exchanging resources. Let's start living. Let's start organising what the priorities are. Clean food and water....