Originals fire hunting benefits small-mammals: Research

The Aboriginal Martu people of Western Australia have traditionally set small fires while foraging, leaving a patchwork landscape that proves a perfect environment for bilbies, wallabies, possums and other threatened mammals.

Stanford anthropologists have discovered that when these controlled burns cease, the desert rapidly becomes overgrown – and a single lightning strike can send wildfires tearing through hundreds of square miles of tinder-dry mammal habitat.

The paper, authored by Stanford anthropology Associate Professor Rebecca Bliege Bird, senior research scientist Douglas Bird, postdoctoral scholar Brian Codding and undergraduate Peter Kauhanen, appeared recently in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

UN says not enough community participation in 'Stronger Futures' decision

UN Commissioner Navanethem Pillay
UN's Navanethem Pillay

A letter obtained by AAP under freedom of information laws, from UN Commissioner Navanethem Pillay addressed to Jenny Macklin outlined UN's concerns regarding the proposed legislation.

The United Nations human rights commissioner fears the continuation of a federal government intervention program in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities won't benefit indigenous people.

The Labor government's racist Stronger Futures legislation, passed by parliament in late June, now continues for another 10 long years.

A crime to be proud of First Nations heritage

Indigenous leaders say the Olympic rules that outlaw Aboriginal flags at the Games should change, and have called on the Australian Olympic Committee to lobby for the longstanding protocol to be overturned.

Dual Olympian 110-metre hurdler Kyle Vander Kuyp, former world champion boxer Anthony Mundine, and former politician and activist Phil Cleary - who said recognising both flags at the Games would "affirm our real history and be a major act of reconciliation" - led the voices supporting boxer Damien Hooper who breached International Olympic Committee rules by wearing a T-shirt with the Aboriginal flag on it to competition in London.

"I would love to see the whole country embrace the flag more," Vander Kuyp said.

Representatives of more than 30 nations see Aboriginal affairs at an all-time low

Delegates representing more than 30 nations attended the Sovereign Union gathering in Moree during the weekend (28-29th July 2012). Apart from focussing on important Sovereigty matters they all agreed that Aboriginal affairs is at its all-time low.

Issues such as incarceration rates, growing domestic violence matters, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, child removals and school curriculums, poor housing and low incomes.

These serious issues are further compounded by the forced government programming of 'closing the gap', which is in effect measuring their assimilation objectives, that is, how far they are removing us from our culture and how successfully we have been absorbed into the white one through their reconciliation program.

The Sovereign Union now calls upon our people around this country to stop doing deals and signing away your sovereign rights.

Different world: understanding Indigenous justice


Liam Jurrah

Melbourne Demons star Liam Jurrah is currently appearing in an Alice Springs court, charged with assaulting his cousin, Basil Jurrah, and in case you've been living under a rock, he is a big deal in the AFL and the first Aboriginal man from a Central Deserts community to play in the big league.

The circumstances of the alleged violence are part of a court proceeding, and getting plenty of play in other media.

What defines him is the fact that he is a young Warlpiri man, a freshwater blackfella from the Central Deserts region. His skin name is Jungarrayi, his mother is Corrina, his father is Leo (also a great footballer) and his grandmother is Cecily. From the Warlpiri perspective, those are most of the things that really matter.

That and the fact that notwithstanding football stardom, Liam Jurrah is not excused from his cultural obligations, payback being one of them. - Chris Graham writes

Family demands independent investigation into death in custody in Alice Springs Hospital

The family of Arabana man, Peter Clarke, issued a call today for the Northern Territory Government to launch an independent enquiry into his death in Alice Springs Hospital. He was 56 year old.

Mr Clarke died on Tuesday 3 April 2012. He'd been due for parole on 26 March 2012 but was hospitalised on 19 March.

When Peter Clarke's younger brother Wayne and sister Gladys visited the hospital, they were shocked to find their brother cuffed by the ankle to the hospital bed.

After the death, a doctor told the family a Coroner might need to do an autopsy as the death could be treated as a death in custody. But the death would not be investigated.

13 arrested at the 'Lizard's Revenge' Uranium mine protest

Police have arrested 13 people during an anti-nuclear protest at South Australia's Olympic Dam mine, where activists and officers were involved in two confrontations.

In the first incident two women and four men were taken into custody as they staged a "breakfast not bombs" event on a road near the mine site on Tuesday. Protesters blocked the road.

Police said those arrested, including a 66-year-old NSW man, were charged with either failing to comply with a reasonable direction or loitering.

In the second incident activists again took to a road to play cricket. Six men and a woman were arrested after a scuffle with police.

When will the income management critics be heard?


Peter Inverway

Peter Inverway took a deep breath, noticeably trying not to let his nerves get the better of him. "I'm from Kalkaringi in the Northern Territory," he began, reading from short prepared sentences without looking up. "I live in a house with 15 other people. The rent is $210 per week. There's not enough room for all of us."

Inverway's acute embarrassment was palpable, despite the fact barely twenty people had turned up to the public meeting in Melbourne's Trades Hall on 11 June 2010. As I waited to hear his story, I felt almost ashamed to be one of the "watchers", humbled such a proud man felt compelled to do something so clearly against his nature after his community's plight had been overlooked by mainstream society. - Emma Purdy writes.

Macklin booed and heckled at NAIDOC event


YouTube - ABC News clip

Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin has been booed at an official function in Hobart because of her support for the racist Northern Territory intervention.

The Chairman of the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania Clyde Mansell said he was not surprised the Tasmanian Aboriginal community had reacted angrily to Ms Macklin.

Nala Mansell-McKenna, who gave the 'Welcome to Country' speech said she is not referring to Minister Macklin and she not welcome while she continues to support racist policies such as the NT intervention.