With regard to Echonetdaily’s article (9/3/2012) concerning petroleum exploration licences granted to the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, which includes 70 square kilometres of land 6km SE of Murwillumbah: this is a classic example of political instrumentalism.
Indigenous peoples of Australia have been coerced, albeit over 200+years, to adopt the values of the colonising culture disregarding their own system of values that are nature based. This is a political tactic to increase power to the centre.
My understanding of Aboriginal culture is that it gives agency to nature. Through the Dreaming stories culture and nature are united.
The dominant, colonising culture has a system though which keeps culture and nature separate and denies the agency of nature. The idea is that humans are separate from and dominant over nature, rather than dependent on it. This has allowed nature to be commodified (used to gain monetary wealth).
Indigenous peoples of Australia had immeasurable wealth of another sort that afforded them survival on this land for in excess of forty thousand years. Aboriginal people do deserve more. But I would argue more status and respect for governance under their LORE, is what we all need!
Roxanne Finn, Tyalgum