Saturday, February 16, 2008

Desert Files - Day 9

Have been thinking more about the Sorry Day stuff. I think there needs to be a sharing of pain, because I think everyone in Australia shares the pain of not having a home. Some had their home taken from them when Britain invaded, and others lost their homes because they were sent here as prisoners, or came here for economic opportunities, or were granted asylum here. (I'm not sure how well most people can relate to that consciously though.)
I also think it's a big problem that most Australians who aren't indigenous don't even know anyone that is.


Chris said...

At what point does a person become "indigenous"? How many generations does it take for a person to become indigenous to a place? Ten? Twenty? I ask only because I wonder if perhaps that's the angle that has to be taken alongside the one you suggested ... both the Aborigines and teh rest of the population are now indigenous and have to share Australia. It's not as if all the rest will be leaving at this point, ya know?

Tab said...

Yeah, it wasn't until I came to Broken Hill that I really met any indigenous Australians. I guess for me, living mostly in Ballarat until then it was a matter of time and place - I didn't intentionally set out to meet any Indigenous people either here or in Ballarat - its just a mater of population I think. I suppose if I wanted I could go out of my way to NOT meet anyone here.

I have felt for a while a sense of disconnection in not knowing my family history, and where we came from. Doing a little bit of research and talking to my grandparents helped me a lot. I still don't know very much. But being able to say that a bunch of my early ancestors came from Cornwall makes a massive difference to me. I think that history and place make a difference to all people - at some stage, but I'd agree too that many people seem not to recognise it.

Christop said...

Theoretically we could become indigenous. Some of my ancestors came here a relatively long time ago (in one direction I'm sixth generation Australian), but I'm not indigenous.
I think one thing that stops us becoming 'indigenised' is that we don't acknowledge the loss of the lands we came from, and we treat this land badly because we'd still rather be back in the lands we came from. We certainly haven't become connected to this land like the indigenous people are.