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Canberra New Way Summit - Day 2 Report

New Way Summit delegates unanimously reject government sponsored Rep body
Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
Canberra, 3st January 2010 - Report Day 2

Michael Anderson

The New Way Summit of 150 Aboriginal people has unanimously opposed the proposed Rudd government sponsored national Aboriginal representative body to be known as ‘The First Nations Congress’ being organised by the former Human Rights Commissioner, Tom Calma.

The summit heard angry comment that it would be just a perpetuation of white government control of Aboriginal lives.

The summit heard that this so-called representative body will have the power to deny Aboriginal people the right to determine their leaders.

There was strong objection to a so-called 'Ethics Council' having been hand-picked and putting candidates through highly stringent character checks that do not apply to non-Aboriginal politicians.

The summit heard much anger expressed at elitist Aboriginals in important government jobs blocking Aboriginal aspirations and supporting assimilationist policies.

Michael Anderson, the convenor of the summit said, “The participants, who came from across the continent, urged in the strongest way that the Aboriginal collaborators and traitors be named and shamed through the internet for all to see and this will be done through a descriptive biography.” This was loudly acclaimed.

In a Skype linkup to the conference room from the Northern Territory, Richard Downs, who led the Ampilatwatja walk-off away from the controls of the NT intervention, strongly backed the proposal. He said that these people have done irreparable harm to Aboriginal Peoples across this country and must be cut down in their tracks.

Lez Malezer, UN advocate, informed the summit that Australia is in breach of every UN human rights covenant and must be held accountable. Many delegates were surprised at how many rights international law recognises.

The conference participants established a taskforce to take this New Way radical movement forward on behalf of the grassroots communities.

One of its first major tasks is to examine and educate the nations about sovereignty options.

Aboriginal Nations should make inter-nation treaties in sovereignty quest

Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)
Canberra, 30th January 2010

New Way Summit

The hundreds of Aboriginal nations in Australia should start making treaties with each other in a process leading ultimately to full sovereignty, former barrister Paul Coe told a meeting here of Aboriginal Elders and young people.

Mr Coe's advice to the summit was that Aboriginal people need to learn what sovereignty is.

He noted there are two forms of sovereignty that Aboriginal people must examine. The first is whether they want to be domestic sovereign nations, that is a state within the Australian Commonwealth or, secondly, to become a confederacy of Aboriginal nations recognised in international law.

The summit of about one hundred people from across the continent heard a lot of raw pain and anger on various issues, from continuing deaths in custody to the Northern Territory intervention.

The conference was told by the convenor, Michael Anderson, that we need to become proactive and not just talk about government controls but wrest control away from the government.

The summit heard people say that Aboriginal independence has been usurped by state controlled welfare slavery. The summit acknowledged that drug and alcohol dependency is symptomatic of oppressed Peoples.

The conference also heard that we must address the high incarceration rate that Aboriginal adults and youth suffer across this country. Human rights defenders reported how Aboriginal Legal Services are being starved of funding and are being referred to as Aboriginal Lock-up Services.

The Ambassador of revolutionary Venezuela, Mr Nelson Davila-Lameda, spoke of the strong rights given his country’s Indigenous Peoples since President Hugo Chavez came to power, for example, they have secure representation in the national parliament. He pledged Venezuelan support for the Aboriginal sovereignty pursued in international forums.

The New Way Summit continues on Sunday 31st and Monday 1st. It will set an agenda for the way forward. “One key suggestion is to send an Aboriginal delegation to Britain to claim restitution and reparations for the violations since British colonial occupation,” summit convenor Michael Anderson said.

Proceedings at the summit can be followed live on the internet at www.wgar.info.

Contact: Michael Anderson 0427 292 492

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WGAR: Working Group for Aboriginal Rights (Australia)