Connection: American Indians And Australian Aborigines - SMSC Sponsors Jazz Festival
By Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji)
© 2010 Native Sun News
There is a colonization connection the indigenous people of Australia
and America share.
Both were driven to the brink of annihilation by invaders. Both had
their children ripped from their arms and placed into institutional
boarding schools intent upon acculturation by whatever means (See the
movie Rabbit Proof Fence).
Aborigines make up two percent of Australia's population of 22 million
and, like their American Indian counterparts; they are their country's
poorest, unhealthiest and most disadvantaged of all minorities.
Both governments have spent millions of dollars on housing, hospitals,
community programs, and educational reforms and worthless experiments
over the past decades, but the living conditions of most Aboriginal
and Native American people remain abysmal. Why is that? Try asking an
Aborigine or a Native American instead of a government official.
Both have severe traumatic problems with alcohol and child abuse. Many
indigenous educators believe this can be traced back to the cruelty
and abuse they suffered as children at the nation's boarding schools.
As I have written many times, you cannot take innocent children, place
them in an isolated institution, and abuse them emotionally,
physically and sexually, and not expect that when they become adults,
they will not become the abusers. And that is happening right now in
many American Indian and Aborigine reservations and communities.
The government of Australia established a program imposing radical
restrictions on Aborigines in a crack down on child abuse. James
Anaya, a United Nations rapporteur on indigenous human rights was very
concerned about this controversial initiative known as "the
According to the Washington Post, "The program forced a series of
tough rules on Aborigines in the Northern Territory, including bans on
alcohol and hard-core pornography, in response to an investigation
that found rampant child sex abuse in remote indigenous communities."
Anaya said, "The measures are incompatible with Australia's
international human rights obligations, including the U. N. Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination."
Indigenous Affairs Minister (Sound like the Bureau of Indian Affairs?)
Jenny Macklin responded, "The most important human right that I feel
as minister I have to confront is the need to protect the rights of
the most vulnerable, particularly children, and for them to have a
happy and safe life."
Many of the strict measures taken by the Australian government were
implemented without consulting the Aboriginal people. Many of the
rules, regulations and laws that have restricted and disrupted the
growth of Native American people and communities have also been
enacted and enforced with little or no input from the Indian people.
The Australian and American governments have acted in common when they
tell their indigenous people to go sit in the corner "because we know
what is good for you."
The crackdown by the Australian government was enacted without
providing Anaya or the indigenous people actual numbers. The
government had to suspend its own anti-discrimination law, the Racial
Discrimination Act, so it could ban alcohol and hard-core pornography
in the Aboriginal communities and regulate how the Aborigines spend
their welfare checks. What is worse, the restrictions do not apply to
Australians of other races.
News stories I have read on this issue have one thing in common,
including the article I quoted from the Washington Post: not a single
Aborigine was asked for his or her opinion.
I would have loved to hear comments by the Aboriginal people. A law
that assumes they are guilty without sound evidence places them in the
position of having to prove they are innocent.
Those Native Americans actively involved in addressing and seeking
solutions to this problem unanimously agree that it can be traced to
the era of Catholic mission boarding schools.
Following a huge cove-up, American bishops concluded that there were
credible accusations against nearly 5,000 priests involving the abuse
of about 12,000 children and adolescents since 1950. The Indian
mission boarding school era began in the 1800s.
Several dioceses, including Tucson, Arizona and San Diego, California,
had to seek bankruptcy protection when they were unable to pay the
financial settlements ordered by the court on hundreds of claims that
had been filed. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles alone was ordered to
pay more than $660 million in damages, which represented a substantial
share of the more than $2 billion paid out by the U.S. Catholic Church
as a whole. To date the Native American children of the United States
have not received one farthing.
A series of sex scandals also shook Ireland, where a commission
concluded that about 35,000 children were beaten and abused in
Catholic children's homes and orphanages between 1914 and 2000. Will
there ever be a similar report on the abuse of Aborigine and American
Indian children? Or will the answer always be, "Who gives a damn?"
The Australian and American governments should take a hard look at
what happened in this country, Ireland and Germany and then compare
notes. And then they should appropriate the funds to allow the
Aborigine and Native American people to solve their own problem,
because, ironically, no one else does give a damn.
Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, is the publisher of Native Sun News. He
was the founder and first president of the Native American Journalists
Association, the 1985 recipient of the H. L. Mencken Award, and a
Nieman Fellow at Harvard with the Class of 1991. Giago was inducted
into the South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2008. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON AND MYSTIC LAKE TO SPONSOR FIRST LAKEFRONT JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL
By Tessa Lehto
Prior Lake, MN – Local, national, and international performers are expected to delight audiences for one special day in July as the City of Prior Lake hosts the first Lakefront Jazz and Blues Festival Presented by Mystic Lake Casino.
The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Mystic Lake Casino will collaborate with the Prior Lake Rotary Club, the event organizer, to present the event which will be held for the first time July 10, 2010, at Lakefront Park in the City of Prior Lake.
The Lakefront Jazz and Blues Festival Presented by Mystic Lake Casino is being billed as a free, family-friendly music event and one of the largest music venues in the south metro area of the Twin Cities. The event is expected to draw between 5,000 and 10,000 people.
Mystic Lake Casino is planning to hold a jazz weekend in conjunction with this event with special entertainers and packages for guests.
SMSC Vice-Chairman Glynn A. Crooks presented a sponsorship check for $50,000 on January 20, 2010, to the Prior Lake Rotary Club at a breakfast event at The Wilds in Prior Lake, Minnesota.
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