Saturday, May 21, 2011

Aboriginal people didn't 'OWN' the Land... so nerr!

I often hear a sad argument used against the idea of Aboriginal Land Rights on the basis that 'Aboriginal people didn't own the land, they belonged to the Land' and so therefore have no claim to Land Rights.

If people did not own the land, then what were the likes of Pumulwuy & Windradyne right through to Mabo and many others today fighting for? (NB: Eddie Mabo was actually Torres Strait Islander, not Aboriginal, but that is a topic of another blog somewhere in here so I will leave that point as is)

The idea that 'Aboriginal people didn't own the land, they belonged to the Land' is an idea that is meant to symbolise that Aboriginal people did not view Land as a commodity to be bought and sold but as a giver of life and something that they were responsible for protecting and caring for. Like any good person feels towards their Mother.

If someone asked me if I owned my Mother, I would laugh and say of course not. This doesn't mean I would be happy if someone tries to 'steal' her and then sell her to a major international conglomerate for export... even if they offer me an insignificant proportion of the profits and low level, underpaid, short term employment with their company.

'Nuff said.

1 comment:

  1. You know what, you are right Luke, and well said. If you had asked Pemulwuy why he was fighting, he probably would have said to rid his land of the parasite settlers. I always enjoy talking about freedom fighters of Aboriginal people, so I whole heartedly agree. One-eyed? I wouldnt know about that sorry.