Tag Archives: australia

Australian Indigenous tribes fighting resource project at home visits Alberta First Nations

Adrian Burragubba and Murrawah Johnson visit the Beaver Lake Cree Nation in Alberta. Photo:Brandi Morin/APTN

Delegates from two Australian Indigenous tribes travelling the world to seek support and build awareness about a massive coal mine set to be built within their sacred territories stopped in Alberta this week.

The Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council are “gravely” concerned about the impacts the project will have on their traditional lands.

The Indian owned company Adani is awaiting land lease agreements to construct the 40km by 13km Carmichael mine north of the Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, Australia- approximately 10km away from Wangan and Jagalingou territories.

Adrian Burragubba youth representative of the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council meets Beaver Lake Cree Nation Chief Germaine Anderson.

The group visited Alberta First Nations this week to learn about the plight faced by communities there involved in litigation battles with governments and industry.

“I think it’s now time that we join together as Indigenous brothers and sisters all around the world,” said Murrawah Johnson, who represented the youth of the Wangan and Jagalingou tribes.

“We’re fighting the same issues, fighting the same people, fighting the same companies, fighting the fossil fuel industry, fighting our governments to say this is not ok. We will not consent- we have not consented. And our right to either give or withhold consent is being oppressed.”

The tribes believe that if the Carmicheal mine is allowed to proceed it will “tear the heart out of the land.” Due to the massive size of the mine it would have devastating impacts on their native title, ancestral lands and waters, totemic plants and animals and tribal environmental culture and heritage.

Community members, leadership and Elders from Beaver Lake Cree Nation in Northern Alberta welcomed the delegation yesterday.

Over freshly cooked bowls of duck soup, bannock and baked pickerel friendships were made and stories were swapped of the battle against industrial development.

“We’re here to let you know about our struggle,” said Adrian Burragubba from the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council.

“We share in the struggle against colonization and our fight is against the colonies destroying our sacred sites.”

Beaver Lake Cree Nation filed a lawsuit against the Alberta and Canadian governments in 2008 for the over development of a tar sands expansion project happening in their homelands.

Beaver Lake Cree Nation member Eric Lameman talks with APTN’s Brandi Morin

Although it is a small community with approximately 900 members, Beaver Lake’s traditional territories are vast, stretching across 38, 927km through boreal forest which also sits among large oil sands deposits.

Currently there are about 35,000 oil and natural gas wells here.

The band is raising funds to take the case to trial and is relying on Treaty rights to win.

Beaver Lake is a signatory to Treaty 6, signed in 1876, which included promises protecting their inherent right to hunt, fish and trap and to ensure a future of balance development.

Eric Lameman, 57, grew up on the land, his father was a trapper and passed down the knowledge to his son. However, Lameman has noticed changes in recent years. A change in the land that shouldn’t be so recognizable in such a short period of time.

“As soon as you see land starting to change you spot it right away,” he said.

“You can see what industrial developments, how it’s hurt our land.”

He was happy to host the Wangan and Jagalingou tribes and said the time has come for Indigenous people to come together to take a stand against billion dollar industries.

There is strength in numbers, and if people join together they just might win.

Adrian Burragubba plays a didgereedoo at a ceremony on the Beaver Lake Cree Nation. Video: Brandi Morin/APTN

“They are going to have the same battle that we have. And the more they learn from what we are doing, I think they will stand a better chance. The water we drink- the water of life. And our air is being hurt. Our lands, everything.”

He pointed out that the dangers of the destruction caused by industrial development is not just for Indigenous people but for all of humanity.

“Every race will get involved because it involves everybody. Every race is finally starting to realize what industry is doing to us. It’s going to kill us- everyone. It’s not just the native people.”

The Australian tribal delegation planned to visit Fort McMurray and conduct a fly-over tour of the tar sands before making their way to the community of Fort Chipewyan on Thursday. The Athabasca Fort Chipewyan First Nation is also involved in litigation against tar sands operations that are encroaching their territories.

bmorin@aptn.ca

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Australian Government double standard over Israel

MEDIA RELEASE Australian Government demonstrates double standards over Israel FOREIGN minister Bob Carr recently expelled Syrian diplomats because of human rights abuses in their country. Yet the Israeli defence force and Israeli settlers shoot, abduct, detain and torture Palestinians in the occupied territories on a daily basis. The Israeli government destroys Palestinian homes on the West Bank. On 21 May 2012 an Australian citizen, Khalil Hamdan, received a call from his sister Weam in Nablus. “My sister was distraught because 25- 30 Israeli soldiers broke into her small two bedroom unit at 3am in the Camp No.1 refugee camp in Nablus, Palestine,” Mr Hamdan said. “She is the wife of Ridha Khalid and the mother of five children aged 5 to 18 years. Ridha is employed by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Nablus.” “The soldiers smashed the door down and took Ridha away for no reason and took him to Huwarra prison outside of Nablus. After they took him away, they asked my sister, Weam, to get out of the unit with her children. “They proceeded to destroy everything in their unit: furniture, electrical appliances including the children’s computer; the children’s school books. “Naturally all the children were traumatised and they were mindful of their imminent school examinations.” The soldiers took the food from the pantry, freezer and refrigerator and spread it all over the furniture and floor. They removed all the pictures from wall and smashed them. Weam is aged fifty years. “She is a good woman and cared for her aged parents and her two handicapped brothers since she was a young teenager. She is a good wife, caring mother and kind to her friends and has never been in any trouble. “Weam was born in the Refugee camp. The destruction of the contents of her unit was completely unjust. Her frugal savings and furniture were gone in 2.1/2 hours.” Weam’s husband Ridha distributes aid throughout the West Bank. The Australian Government will contribute $90M to UNRWA over the next three years. Ridha has been taken before and tortured. In 2001 he spent 18 months in detention without charge. His 17 year old son was shot dead and Ridha has been the victim of an Israeli rocket attack. He now is on hunger strike in Huwarra prison near Nablus. Weam is concerned for the future of her husband and their family. I, Khalil Hamdan, call on the Foreign Minister to seek the immediate release of Ridha and compensation for loss of property and savings taken from Weam’s unit. I want an independent medical examination of Ridha. “The Australian government is obliged to act because: 1. I’m an Australian citizen and my family has been attacked. 2. My brother-in-law works for United Nations Relief and Works Agency. The Australian government provides funds to UNRWA. 3. The Australian government is signatory to international agreements that outlaw the abduction and torture of civilians. 4. My sister’s property has been damaged and money stolen. 5. The Australian Government has acted to prevent human rights abuses across the border in Syria but not in the occupied territories. Khalil Hamdan, his mother, father and siblings were driven out of their village in Jaffa in 1948. They fled to Nablus where Weam was born in 1962. “As a result of the 6-day war in 1967 I was made a refugee for a second time and sought a new life in Australia” Mr Hamdan said.” “I want an end to the occupation and the right to return to my village. I am one of 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants. We all want justice.” I, Khalil Hamdan, can be contacted at 0438 194 342 Continue reading

Gallery

Letter to the Editor of ‘The Australian’ — ‘Senator stands by Israel boycott’

This gallery contains 1 photos.

Dear Sir/Ms, I would like to correct your report ‘Senator stands by Israel boycott’ published in today’s (29 Aug 2011) Australian. I participated in the rally and march to the Max Brenner Chocolate shop at South Bank in Brisbane. Firstly … Continue reading

End of hope

On this night like any other night
Maybe raining maybe clear
In a world exploding is any heart open

Can you hear us

Can you hear

‘article 14’ words and music by tony mockeridge

The 4 am ABC news just announced an Iraqi man has taken his own life. Continue reading