Decol anthr

John Ford (John.Ford@JCU.EDU.AU)
Sun, 5 Feb 1995 08:43:57 +1000

Re Fry's post.

This style of argument is not new to Australians who are in process of
negotiating something called the MABO debate - native title. The same
trite excuses were rolled through the media ad nauseum. We cannot undo the
past so why try.

We can - if we (colonists) wish.

There is what may be called misplaced nationalism displayed by some
aspects in the mining and pastoral industries - but the general goodwill,
will, I suggest, mean that the process of reconciliation will prevail.
Despite the jokes (see the ICE MAN posts), colonialism is on the wane
except in certain institution, and I suspect certain academic
institutions may be the worst examples.

Besides, my experience with the process of reconciliation does not mean
indigenous people are not pretty pragmatic about this process. Yes they
do want objects (including land back) but what they want more is the
acceptance by the mainstream community that indigenous people are
important enough in the nation's psyche that their culture is 'valued' -
and not just by 'so-called' scientists.

The Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation (CAR) has identifies many areas
where this process can be assisted. The most effective and simple - Do
you know an Indigenous person because "most non-indigenous Australias
already have entrenched, negative and largely uninformed views about the
causes and extent on indigenous Australias' disadvantage" (WALKING

Which leads me to consider why many posts concerning Indigenous Property
Rights and/or Decolonising Anthropology find the concepts so threatening.

john ford