Before starting my research about the Aboriginal all I knew about the native group was they are native to Australia. I didn’t know about what health issues plagued them or the importance of their culture. Now having researched them I have a better understanding of their culture and of various health issues they face today.
The Aboriginal fought Europeans and after they lost much of their population they surrendered. After this lost they encountered a lot of new diseases as did many indigenous groups did when they first met Europeans. Today most of their native language is gone and their are no more 100% native Australian any more. Which is way they call them selves Aboriginal because they have some European descendants. In fact till recently they were thought to be extinct will a recent census where people identified to being native to Australia. Although in light of them being found again they are in poor health conditions having a life expectancy of 15-20 years . They a wide range of health concerns from physical to mental and from heart diseases to high suicide rate. Even with efforts made by the Australian government to close the health gap there is still much work to be done.
When I was researching about the Aboriginal people I found videos about them. I found a documentary and a short video. In the documentary it went in depth about their culture and people as it was eye witnessed accounts by an elder. Whereas the shorter video was about their dances and famous sound associated with Australia they make with the didgeridoo. This video had some ethnocentric judgements comparing how we value song dance as the same as they do. They made it seem as they do it as a form as entertainment just like most first world societies do. My biggest challenge to cultural relativism was understanding how a culture losses their language. Having grown up in the United States where their is introduction of various other languages I still retained my own language. I realized I was making a ethnocentric judgement so I decided to learn about their history in doing so I now understand way they lost their language. They had a every violent history with Europeans and after losing a war to them a lot of mature men had died. A way to raise their population back up they married/mated with Europeans thus making what we know today as Aboriginal. Slowly their traditional language was lost with each new generation.
These blog posts is ethnographic because I looked at all the data I gather with cultural relativism in mind and although there were challenges in doing so I think I told more than a single story about the Aboriginal people. The earth is sacred to them and the their songs and dances are their history book. I learned about their tragic history how it ultimately lead to the loss of their language and attribute to their poor health conditions. Importantly I understand the importance of telling your history wether it be through stories, song, and dance. The Aboriginals tell their history to the next generation with song and dance while playing their didgeridoo. They also have cave paintings that tell stories of the time before. They hunt and gather near the sea side which much of their cave paintings depict. The documentary is where I got most of my understanding of their culture for it is stories told from an elder of the Aboriginal people.
I used Boolean agents when searching for good peer reviewed resources online. I also used databased search engines to get a wider array of resources. When looking for resources in public domain I used a search engine that helped me narrow my search for pictures to use. It is best to look for credentials of the article and to see what kind of website it is.
A Aboriginal man playing and dancing with the traditional instrument the Didgeridoo. This doesn’t violate copyright law because it is a work of the Federal Government therefore is in public domain.
A peace treaty sign between the Aboriginal and John Batman. The picture and art work itself is in public domain.
This is a picture of someone committing suicide to represent the high Aboriginal suicide rates. This picture is under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license that allows me to share the photo.
APA bibliographic citation
Bourdakis, M. (2013, July 19). Suicide with pills, Wikipedia, 2013 [Photograph]
Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File
Greenberg, C. (2007, September 06). Aboriginal song and dance, Wikipedia, 2007
[Photograph]. Retrieved from https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aboriginal_song_and_dance.jpg
Unattributed. (2008, November 3). Batman signs treaty artist
impression, Wikipedia, 2008 [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Batman_signs_treaty_artist_impression.jpg
In this story it went into detail to what exactly “the gap” is in Australia. The gap refers to the health gap between Australians and the indigenous people called the Aboriginal. Traits of the gap are, infant mortality rate was two times bigger for the Aboriginal at 6.2 than Australians, children 0-17 were eight times more likely were to be abused or neglected, and lived ten years shorter than Australians. The kinds of poor health they experience are physical and mental aliments. Suicide for the indigenous group went from 10%-80% from 1991 to 2010. There are more stats and other interesting information, but at the end of the article wants the reader to focus on help making Australia’s healthcare for everyone better.
This story I read was about the health gap in Australians and the indigenous people. The article contributes their poor healthcare to social factors in Australia. Australians have a life expectancy of 82 years where as the Aboriginal have ten years lesser than that. The social aspects that contribute to the inequality of health is overcrowding along with racism. Because of these aspects a non-government movement to close the health gap has become to a Federal Government program called closing the gap.
Australians Together. (2017, May 7). The gap: indigenous disadvantage in australia. Australians Together. Retrieved from http://www.australianstogether.org.au/stories/detail/the-gap-indigenous-disadvantage-in-australia
Nogrady, B. (2015, July 7). The indigenous health gap: social factors hit hard. ABC Health and Wellbeing. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/health/features/stories/2015/07/07/4268380.htm
For my first story its from a non-government organization that looks to inform the nation of the gap and how to close it. The data from the article was gathered in 2014 and is aimed towards the general population for the data is presented in easy to read format with nice graphics. The information is all based on facts from creditable sources that was referenced at the bottom of the page. The arguments and ideas are more informative like the other pieces I read, but does have an impartial tone.
For the second story was by a freelance science journalist, broadcaster, and author with numerous background experience. She wrote this article for ABC Health and Wellbeing. This group has the goals to educate the masses about various medical happenings. This article was published in 2015 and is pretty current. She is addressing the general audience. The information in the article is fact that has been well researched and is objective. She has the intent to inform you of the current inequality of health Australians and the Aboriginals have between each other.
The video is called Full Documentary. The Men of Fifth World – Planet Doc Full Documentaries and the story told by the old Garimala Yakar and his first hand stories of his people the Australian Aboriginal. This documentary was upload Aug, 2nd 2014 by the channel Planet Doc Full Documentaries. Planet Doc Full Documentaries are a group that upload documentaries about history, wildlife, culture, travel, and tribal groups around the world there website is here if you want to see other documentaries. The license is a standard YouTube license and the documentary is made for educational/entertainment. The video is about the origins of the Aboriginal people told from stories about how their way of life was and is now after meeting the white men. He tells stories of how their famous Aboriginal art is made and the importance of telling their peoples story to the young. You get a glimpse of their life style as he describes the weapons of war the men would use, which also was used to hunt as the women gather food because they are nomadic people.
The second video is called Original Australian indigenous Culture. This video a lot shorter than the first video. This is a short clip from the documentary group Discovery Atlas that was aired on the Discovery Channel from 2006-2008. This short clip was upload to YouTube in Mar, 7 2010 but was made in the timeframe of 2006-2008. The clip was made with educational purpose with the standard YouTube license. The channel that upload the video is called Commonagent who uploads informational videos. In the short video it shows the importance of the Aboriginal music and dance to the Australian identity. At the center of their music and dance is the Didgeridoo which makes the iconic sound of Australia. This shows an outside perspective of their culture and how it relates to outsiders.
This group was thought to be extinct, but in 2011 found in a census that nearly 20,000 people identified as native in Tasmania. The Palawa or now know as the Aboriginal Tasmanians are found North and Northeastern of and Australian State south of the mainland.
This group health interests me because they have gone basically missing up until 2011. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics they have the lowest life expectancy from 15-20 years with is about my age right now. With numerous diseases plaguing them there is a national focus on trying to gather information on them. With there rapid health decline there are many health programs happening to help the Aboriginal people. Along with most indigenous groups the Aboriginal group saw conflict with the worlds infectious idea of colonialism.
They met the British colonialist in 1803. Before they met the British there were about 15,000 Aboriginal people. Diseases and violence brought by the colonists lowered their population to about 200 in 1833. In a lifetime their population was devastated. Now even though there are 20,000 they are still very ill and in need of medical help. The health problems start when they met the British back in 1803 if we can understand the root of their health problem, I think we can find a way to help improve their dire situation they are in today.
One thing I found to be just as detrimental problem is the complete lost of the indigenous language of the Tasmanian people. Some words of original Tasmanian are still in use by Palawa people. Also thousands of Tasmanian people consider themselves as Aboriginal Tasmanians because many Parlevar women bore children from European man.
A map of where Tasmania is here
The a map in the left is Tasmania, and the one on the right shows where it is located adjacent to Australia. The map on the left shows various geological places and town/ports but this map here shows the various places where the Aboriginal people are and the areas where the clans inhabits.
My three link
The things that I found interesting was the definition they had for public health, top ten leading causes of death, and the success of global health. I found the definition of public health interesting and surprising because they said public health is a negative. As soon as I read their definition it made sense to me right away that if nothing happens then it is at its best. I found it was interesting that the biggest cause of death in the U.S. and Worldwide was heart disease. After I saw the list I was surprise that cancer wasn’t the leading cause of death because of how vicious the diseases is. Finally the success of global health was interesting was because I didn’t know that the life expectancy around the world is about 80 and is rising. We live for a long time in this day and age.
Article One: Battling Pollution On Our Lands. Article Here. Published on September 2016.
The article is about the various companies from the oil industry polluting the river water and the many pollutants being dumped near the Ponca Nation in Oklahoma in the United States. There is a lot of injustice and discrimination going on at the reservation and what Mekasi Horinek describes as “environmental racism and environmental genocide”. The Ponca Nation and some people from a neighboring community are having long term medical health affects like cancer due to all the pollution going on. The reservation is located at the south end of Ponca city along with the low income community. There the city put their municipal dumping site on their burial ground a the Ponca people’s most sacred site on the reservation. The EPA and other various government agencies have done nothing to help the Ponca people. All the EPA has did was water testing and even then they couldn’t figure out the source of the pollution, while Horinek can pin point it to the fracking industry who has been draining the water out and putting back the waste water from fracking. A quick overview of what fracking is; it’s a harmful way to extract natural gasses from the ground that not only hurts the environment, but also the people living there. All of this blatant disregard for the the Ponca people and the environment is disgusting and frustrating that this can be allowed to happen. There was a class action lawsuit that went through and gave finical compensation to some people allowing them to be moved. Even then they are still sicken with long medical affects and having to move people from their homes that they have been living on for generation for causes of your fault is wrong.
Article Two: The Hawaiians: Health, Justice, and Sovereignty. Article here. Published on March 2000.
The group involved was the indigenous people of Hawai’i when they had thriving population before James Cook visited them. They were located in what is today the state of Hawaii which is the eight island chain in the pacific ocean. Because they lived on an archipelago isolated from the rest of the world James Cook and his crew was amazed at the health and population size of the people of Hawai’i. This is quite ironic as they were the downfall of their population size and health. Since the Hawai’i people lived in isolation for so long they were never exposed to the deadly diseases that the rest of the world has faced. When James Cook and crew first arrived to Hawai’i they were previously sick with Syphilis and Gonorrhea which has been widespread in England. Once they left Hawai’i the diseases they brought with them were already widespread among the Hawai’i people. At the time they probably couldn’t see it, but time and time again we see the travelers bring diseases from around the world to the “new world” which devastates the indigenous population. Shortly after James Cook’s discovery of Hawai’i the population dropped 85%. We see the same thing happen when Columbus visited the new world and when the colonist from England met the Native Americans when smallpox ran wild. I hope we learn from history and become cautious when meeting new living things on the final frontier.
Article Three; Spraying Crops, Eradicating People. Article Here. Published on December 2002.
In this article the indigenous people of Columbia are affected by toxic chemical ariel spray to kill the plants being grown to make cocaine and heroine. These people are from Latin America in the country of Columbia. The health concern that was brought up was the ariel spray to kill the plants are actually also harming the animal life and the people who lived there. They noticed that animals like birds whom were there predominately suddenly disappeared after the spraying started. Once the public in the United States learned of the chemical spraying they started pressuring the U.S. congress to investigate further to make sure this is up to code with health regulation and follows columbian law. After the EPA testing they found that the spray was up to U.S. standard and there was no danger to the people and the environment. Although they did admit that there is a chance for “acute eye toxicity”. Not only is the spraying affecting the health of the people and environment it is also indirectly affecting their culture. Some think about leaving their ancestral homes while others are altering their live styles.
When it came to reading and writing about these articles I found it difficult to stay focused and answer the questions. As I learned more, I passionately got caught up with the harm and disrespect for human life and the environment. I found myself expressing how upset I was with companies putting their interests first before human beings. This is also a success that I had I found for in no time I was writing this blog post.