Indigenous elders invite all Aboriginal people, supporters and other members of the general public, to come together at the 'Aboriginal Tent Embassy' site in January 2012 to celebrate 'Sovereignty Day' and be part of the Sacred Fire Ceremonial Gathering that will mark 40 years since the first protest on the site.
The 'Federation of Aboriginal Sovereign Nations' will be convening on Thursday 26th January 2012 where the focus of discussions will center around Sovereignty Issues.
After Sovereignty Business has been attended to by the 'Federation of Aboriginal Sovereign Nations' we will be a big Sovereignty Corroboree - this commemoration/celebration will be extended to all supporters and the general public.
The Aboriginal Tent Embassy Organiser's for the 40th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra have released an information audio production and video.
The audio is suitable for playing on your local community Radio station. The 2 minute Video is suitable for spreading widely through Facebook, other social media communities and websites.
"Sacred Fire Ceremonial Gathering"
at the 'Aboriginal Tent Embassy'
Thursday 26th Jan 2012
On the lawns at Old Parliament House
King George Terrace, Parkes, Canberra ACT
Aboriginal Tent Embassy
40th Anniversary Working Crew
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Further Information and updates:
Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia) wgar.info
Aboriginal Tent Embassy aboriginaltentembassy.net
Aboriginal Tent Embassy Facebook
Tent Embassy Background:
Aboriginal Embassy, 1972 indigenousrights.net.au
Aboriginal Tent Embassy wikipedia.org
Koori History Website kooriweb.org/foley
Aboriginal Tent Embassy Content treatyrepublic.net
Aboriginal Tent Embassy 40 Year Tribute Music & Audio
The New Release Single was created and performed by Kaiyu Bales, Jodi Haines, Alice Haines, Michael Anderson and guest performance by Soni Williams. The music productions were produced by Alice Haines now residing in Canberra in her home studio. The production voice overs were performed by Lynda Coe and Soni Williams.
ABORIGINAL TENT EMBASSY 40 YEAR TRIBUTE - MEDIA SOURCE WEBSITE (reverbnation.com)
Michael Anderson: "Make 2012 the Year of the Last Stand for Justice"
Michael Anderson, who has just returned from a Deaths in Custody Rally in Brisbane, calls upon Aboriginal people to make 2012 the Year of the Last Stand for Justice.
Michael said, "The forthcoming 40th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Embassy in Canberra is a milestone in the Aboriginal struggle. The fact that the Embassy has now been standing continually since 1992 is a testament to our determination to fight against all odds and the tyranny of the majority to gain that which is ours. The Mabo (No.2) judgement 1992 affirms the biased legal judgement against our Peoples, when the full bench of the High Court concluded that the adverse possession of Australia by the colonial governments and administrators was somehow legal, through their assumption that British sovereignty over Aboriginal Peoples arrived in Australia in 1788.
Recent legal research raises some serious questions about these legal dicta because adverse possession only remains until the true owners reclaim their land. The dicta of the High Court secured the rights of the squatters. Unfortunately the confrontation that we now have is that we have a multiplicity of sovereignties on one continent, that is, the imposed colonial society's sovereignty, which they say is an ‘Act of State' under the existing law at the time, and the sovereignties of the diverse Aboriginal nations that were in existence in 1788 and continue to exist.
The challenge that we now face is to resolve the ambiguities of history. It is my opinion that we pursue the credo of Kevin Gilbert's book "Because a Whiteman'll Never Do It" - a quote by long time Aboriginal rights campaigner Alice Briggs of Purfleet Mission, Taree, NSW. Also as Uncle Ray Peckham says, "This is the last leg of my journey," when he referred to our stand against British colonialism.
As part its 40th Anniversary, the Aboriginal Embassy will have three days of workshops to finalise declarations and a peace package that will be offered up to the British government and the colonial Australian administrators.
Contact: Michael Anderson 0427 292 492 & 0421 795 639
Aboriginal Tent Embassy General Background
On the 26 January 1972 at 1 a.m. four Aborigines, led by Michael Anderson, established the Aboriginal Embassy by ramming a sun umbrella into the lawn outside Old Parliament House in Canberra. The next day Quakers came and helped out by erecting tents. The Tent Embassy was established in response to the McMahon Coalition Government's refusal to recognise Aboriginal land rights and saw a new general purpose lease for Aborigines which would be conditional upon their ‘intention and ability to make reasonable economic and social use of land’ and it would exclude all rights they had to mineral and forest rights. The embassy has existed intermittently since then, and continuously since 1992.
The main people involved in setting up the embassy were the founder and first ambassador, Michael Anderson and three co-founders, Billy Craigie, Tony Coorey and Bertie Williams.
Other people associated with the embassy include Gary Foley, Chicka Dixon, Pearl Gibbs, Roberta Sykes, Pat Eatock, Kevin Gilbert, Dennis Walker, Paul Coe, Isobelle Coe, John Newfong, Mum Shirl Smith, Kevin Buzzacott and Neville Williams.
In February 1972 the Aboriginal Tent Embassy presented a list of demands to Parliament.
Control of the Northern Territory as a State within the Commonwealth of Australia; the parliament in the Northern Territory to be predominantly Aboriginal with title and mining rights to all land within the Territory.
Legal title and mining rights to all other presently existing reserve lands and settlements throughout Australia.
The preservation of all sacred sites throughout Australia.
Legal title and mining rights to areas in and around all Australian capital cities.
Compensation money for lands not returnable to take the form of a down-payment of six billion dollars and an annual percentage of the gross national income.
The demands were rejected, and in July 1972, following an amendment to the relevant ordinance, police moved in, removed the tents, and arrested eight people.
In October 1973, around 70 Aboriginal protesters staged a sit-in on the steps of Parliament House and the Tent Embassy was re-established. The sit-in ended when Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam agreed to meet with protesters.
In May 1974 the embassy was destroyed in a storm, but was re-established in October.
In February 1975 Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins negotiated the "temporary" removal of the embassy with the Government, pending Government action on land rights.
In March 1976 the Aboriginal Embassy was established in a house in the nearby Canberra suburb of Red Hill, however this closed in 1977.
For a short period in 1979, the embassy was re-established as the "National Aboriginal Government" on Capital Hill, site of the proposed new Parliament House.
On the twentieth anniversary of its founding, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy was re-established on the lawns of Old Parliament House. Despite being a continual source of controversy and many calls for its removal, it has existed on the site since that time.
The embassy was partially destroyed in an arson attack.
As well as political pressure, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy has also been under attack from criminal elements, having been fire bombed on a number of occasions.
Some local Aboriginal Ngunnawal people have also called for the eviction of residents of the tent embassy.
Despite this, in 1995 the site of the Tent Embassy was added to the Australian Register of the National Estate as the only Aboriginal site in Australia that is recognised nationally as a site representing political struggle for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
When the 2000 Olympic Games came to Sydney, Aborigines set up a second Tent Embassy on the Olympic grounds.
A tent embassy has also operated intermittently in Victoria Park, Sydney in recent years.
A symbol at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy is the so-called Sacred Fire which represents peace, justice and sovereignty. The Sacred Fire is said to have been kept alight since 1998.