By Christine Fletcher
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Extra resources for Aboriginal self-determination in Australia
We can analyse what we have done or failed to do. We can make amends, and that is a wonderful and powerful capacity for good. The late Xavier Herbert said it more eloquently in Poor Fella My Country (though you will need to overlook the sexism): Until we give back to the black man just a bit of the land t}ut was his and give it back without strings to snatch it back, without anything but generosity of spirit and concessionjor the evil we have done to him, until we do that, we shall remain what we have always been so far, a people without integrity, not a nation, but a communih/ of thieves.
Government determines the political processes which purge the political and democratic aggression from those Aboriginal organisations and individuals. Likewise, the silence from many of the Aboriginal organisations and individuals most able to protest on a broad range of issues, shows clearly their dependency on government moneys for their survival. The effect of such a coercive process is that Aboriginal affairs policies are not properly debated and they become impossible to articulate. We are a captive peoples as never before in our history.
We must create short and long-term economic strategies now, and thus create a more independent and secure base for ourselves and our children. The reality is that Aboriginal people under-utilise, to put it kindly, their current economic and personnel resources. The potential for economic viability for our people is available now if only we could awake to the opportunity and not be blinded largely by employmentsurvival economics. My main point on this principle is that Aboriginal people must now begin to recreate t h e economic base that will provide the springboard for our very survival.
Aboriginal self-determination in Australia by Christine Fletcher