Sunday, December 5, 2010

I’m grateful for the following websites:

1. ABC INDIGENOUS PORTAL: This portal is the on-line gateway to Indigenous arts and cultural, receiving hits from around the world every day from students, tourists, and no doubt more Americans now that Oprah is on her way. With links to Message Stick, AWAYE!, Speaking Out, local heroes, an Opinions page, Message Club for students, animated Dreaming stories and the new Indigenous language map, it’s easy to get lost for hours on this site.
2. KOORI HISTORY WEBSITE: The Koori History Website has been created and is maintained by Aboriginal activist and academic Gary Foley. I remember first using it back in 2002 when I was working at the Australia Council and was researching the history of the Aboriginal Arts Board. With essays, video clips, photo collections and timelines covering significant moments in the Aboriginal civil rights movement, this is a valuable resource for all, but particularly educators and students.
3: ANTAR: For information on contemporary issues in the news e.g. Stolen Generations, Land Rights, Native Title, the NT Intervention, self-determination and Reconciliation, then check out the Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation site. Be sure and checkout how you can become involved in this ongoing grassroots movement working for social justice and equal rights for Indigenous Australia.
4. BLACK WORDS: A subset of AustLit – the only one of its kind in the world – Black Words is a database of all works published by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers. You can search by author name, genre, cultural heritage, year of publication and so forth. There are currently over 4500 individuals indexed into Black Words, so there is no reason for you not reading some deadly black books this summer. For teachers there’s a fabulous calendar of events linking from event to published works. There are some downloadable essays / articles and a comprehensive list of hotlinks to carious cultural sites. Yes, I have a slight bias, I was national coordinator of the site for a few years... it’s a little hard to let go! I was also grateful for a job that I loved to do!
5. OUR GENERATION: Last night I saw the movie OUR GENERATION at Leichhardt Town Hall in Sydney. I had marched against the NT Intervention in Sydney and had MC’d and event for our brothers and sisters in the NT also. But still three years on, our people are being targeted by racist legislation that has been deemed illegal by the United Nations. Please, please, please checkout this website, watch the trailer, buy the DVD and attend an event.
The storyline: A rollercoaster journey into the heart of Australia’s Indigenous relations, a hidden shame that is pushing the world’s oldest living culture to the edge. Through the stories of the Yolngu of NE Arnhem Land, the film looks at the Government’s ongoing policies of paternalism and assimilation, examines the real issues underlying Indigenous disadvantage, and opens dialogue on ways forward that respect Aboriginal culture and dignity.
As Aunty Millie Ingram said at the screening, ‘You are our people. We are your people. And YOUR people are suffering.’ Get online, and get active.

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