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July 8, 2006

Warren Snowdon, Labor's member for Lingiari, based in Alice Springs, says that though things are bad in the Pitlands in SA there have been drastic improvements in tackling indigenous disease and illness. He adds:

That's because Aboriginal people get to own and understand their local health service. This is the key; do the same with education and employment, and progress can be made.

How does that approach sit with the new paternalism of the Howard Goverment?

Snowdon quotes comments by David Martin, a fellow of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the Australian National University, about the new direction in federal Indigenous affairs policy. Martin says:

Much of the support for the new policies is predicated on the ... assumption that Indigenous people naturally desire the lifestyle and values which correlate with economic integration, or that if they don’t, a carrot and stick approach can be used to achieve it. However, the evidence shows that while many ... do indeed seek to take advantage of better economic opportunities, and while cultural change is a feature of all societies ... there is a widespread resistance amongst Indigenous people to what they see as attempts to assimilate them into the dominant society economically and socially.

It is about building community governance isn't it.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:12 PM | | Comments (0)