Celeste Barber’s whopper of a fundraiser went viral right from day one – raising over $1 million in a day, and over $36 million since then. It’s an incredible moment of not just Aussie but international solidarity, and it’s making history. But there’s one thing I noticed – while there’s heaps of traction for donations to the RFS and Aussie wildlife, I’m not seeing much attention being given to Indigenous people, and it’s their own land.
How are the aboriginal people in Australia doing with the fires? Haven’t seen anything about that.
— Tami Sawyer (@tamisawyer) January 6, 2020
Media coverage has basically ignored Indigenous people in the bushfires, and the only articles I’ve really seen around popular discussion are either accusing Vinnies of being racist and rejecting aid for an Aboriginal man, or about a family that says traditional Aboriginal care-taking of the land actually saved their property from burning in the fires.
When interviewing people on the impact of the fires, it’s predominantly white Australians that are featured in our media. And TBH, I’m pissed off about it.
Everytime you share a post about how animals are being affected by the Australian fires share two for the indigenous people and communities who are undoubtedly being affected with less exposure.
— Buy a knitted hat (@_ancynita) January 6, 2020
Lorena Allam, writing for the Guardian, described her heart-break at seeing her sacred land decimated by the fires. Take a moment to actually listen to Indigenous voices, and read her article here.
“Like you, I’ve watched in anguish and horror as fire lays waste to precious Yuin land, taking everything with it – lives, homes, animals, trees – but for First Nations people it is also burning up our memories, our sacred places, all the things which make us who we are.
“It’s a particular grief, to lose forever what connects you to a place in the landscape. Our ancestors felt it, our elders felt it, and now we are feeling it all over again as we watch how the mistreatment and neglect of our land and waters for generations, and the pig-headed foolishness of coal-obsessed climate change denialists turn everything and everyone to ash.”
Donate To First Indigenous Communities At The Link Below
Despite what people think, there’s a lot of Aboriginal people living in isolated communities on the east coast! We’re not sexy enough to make the news, but so many Blackfullas have been displaced from these fires too.
— blak empire (@MerikiKO) January 3, 2020
The Fire Relief Fund for First Nations Communities has only raised $500,000 at the time of writing – which is only 1.4% of what the RFS has received from Celeste Barber’s fundraiser. For those that are still donating, and for those that have something to spare, please donate to this fundraiser to support First Nations people.
As you’re donating, I want to remind you and encourage you to also donate to fundraisers that are specifically for supporting First Nation’s people.
I can’t image the pain that Aboriginal communities feel, watching a land that they took care of for 60,000 years to suddenly get burnt at unprecedented rates because of climate-driven disaster that our government is responsible for. It’s unfathomable, and we should keep Indigenous voices at the forefront of our discussion of these bushfires.
Image Sources: Rose Fletcher (Facebook), Twitter