As an organisation advocating for a legal system with equality at its core, we are incredibly disappointed that our laws and the police who enforce them have failed First Nations communities. The lack of accountability for the 437 deaths in police custody must be addressed.
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer in the U.S. has been a catalyst for widespread attention on systemic racism in Australia. Sadly, many First Nations families have been protesting to address Aboriginal deaths in custody since (and long before) the Royal Commission Inquiry into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody three decades ago.
As an environmental justice organisation, we recognise that systemic racism underpins environmental issues and that First Nations communities in Australia have had their land and cultural rights denied, decimated and degraded by environmentally destructive projects since colonisation.
Systemic racism continues to deny First Nations people opportunity, equality and dignity and we all share the collective responsibility to play our part in actively disrupting and dismantling it, especially those of us that continue to benefit from it.
We recognise that we must first confront these issues within our organisation and know that words alone are not enough.
We are committed to the following actions:
- Listening and learning from First Nations leaders to understand any issues of racism in our own organisation, in the environment movement we work in, and in the system we operate in.
- Continuing to work closely with Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (MLRDIN) in their advocacy for water justice for First Nations communities in the Murray Darling Basin.
- Continuing to participate in programs like Democracy in Colour’s People of Colour Placement Program to support emerging campaigners of colour.
- Rolling out our commitments from our Reconciliation Action Plan endorsed by Reconciliation Australia.
- Making sure all staff have completed anti-racism and cultural awareness training and actively champion diversity and inclusion in our workplace.
- Engaging our staff and supporters in conversations and reflection on racial justice and encourage them to take action in solidarity with First Nations communities.
Here are some actions First Nations leaders and organisations have asked allies and supporters to take to stand against injustice and in solidarity for change.
DONATE TO SUPPORT INCREDIBLE GROUPS WORKING AGAINST RACISM AND IN SUPPORT OF THE RIGHTS OF ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES AND COMMUNITIES OF COLOUR:
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) ‘Stop Black Deaths in Custody’ campaign.
- Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network
- Democracy in Colour
- Original Power
REPORT RACIST POLICE VIOLENCE:
Download the Cop Watch app to film and save altercations with police
- Download the timeline from Original Power to learn about the Aboriginal history of resistance in Australia.
- Read and listen to these great resources:
- Article: Australia had its own George Floyd moment, only it passed without international outrage
- Book: Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe
- Book: Decolonising Solidarity
- Book: Growing up Aboriginal in Australia by Anita Heiss
- Book: Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (also in audiobook)
- Book: Don’t Take Your Love to Town by Ruby Langford Ginibi
- Book: Talking to My Country by Stan Grant
- Book & Workbook: Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
- Book: White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- Book: White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad
- Spotify playlist: Blak Australia & It’s a Blakout
- Podcast: Blood on the Tracks