Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Help Combate Racism Against Indigenous Peoples

Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation began a new campaign last week against racism. Below I've highlighted some of the major points of this campaign, but I would also like to point out that many of these arguments can be applied to indigenous peoples in other parts of the world. Please, if you want to make a difference, go to the ANTaR website and sign the petition. If you are not Australian, then you can still make a difference by just following some of these actions in your own local community. Racism is a common problem for indigenous peoples around the world.

A new national campaign calling on all Australians to take action against racism and tackle the Indigenous health crisis was launched by ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation) in collaboration with The Body Shop.

The Body Shop stores nationally will promote the Racism Makes Me Sick campaign from 21 April 2008 – 12 May 2008 as part of their commitment to defending human rights and promoting Reconciliation in Australia.

Racism, as a direct and negative influence on health, helps explain in part the Australian Indigenous health crisis. Appallingly, three out of four Indigenous Australians experience racism in their everyday lives.

ANTaR is asking individual Australians to combat racism by:

1. Getting the facts about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians,
2. Challenging and speaking up to racist stereotypes and misinformed comments,
3. Taking positive action in support of Indigenous people.

All Australians are encouraged to sign a Personal Pledge to show their commitment, challenge their own assumptions, and speak up to racist or misinformed comments using hints and fact sheets available from ANTAR.

Help end racism towards Indigenous Peoples around the world.

1. Get The Facts
There are many misconceptions, stereotypes and biases towards Indigenous Peoples that are racist. You will be able to recognize and challenge them if you know the facts. Learn the facts so you feel confident about challenging racist comments.

2. Speak Up Against Racism
If you don’t speak up, your silence may be interpreted as implied approval of discrimination. You have the right, as well as the responsibility, to speak up. Read our helpful hints about speaking up against racism.

3. Do Something Positive
Many people feel disconnected from Indigenous Peoples and uncertain about what they can do to help. But there are many positive things that can be done. Small steps can make a big difference! Your actions at home, at school, in your local community, and especially with your consumer habits can all make a difference.

Have an idea? Leave a comment and help make a difference.

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Ajijaak said...

It is true many people feel disconnected from Indigenous/Native/Aboriginal/First Nations people. There are uncertain of ways to help. There are many people who are tired of racism and are working to change it. There is always more to do, more action to take and more consciousness to raise. I believe dialogging about the issues that affect Native peoples is an important step we can take now. Healing on all levels in very important. People are turning to Native peoples worldwide because of this imbalance and disharmony we have created. The wisdom and sacred knowledge of indigenous peoples is something many of us are seeking.

Peter N. Jones said...

Good points Ojibway Migisi Bineshii, there is much healing and work that needs to be done. If we could each do a little bit in our own community to speak out against racism and work to give indigenous peoples a greater voice and presence, I believe that would go a long way. Glad to see you doing your part - I wish you and your relations the best.

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