It's a sickening state of affairs. Amazing how the cultural heritage of one group has been weaponised against the cultural heritage of another.
It doesn’t sound like there’s much real dialogue going on.
and accuses ‘walkers’ of causing the graffiti at Hollow Mountain Cave.
I'm glad I have had the fortune to visit
Quote from: Bonjoy on January 20, 2021, 08:37:21 amIt's a sickening state of affairs. Amazing how the cultural heritage of one group has been weaponised against the cultural heritage of another.Well put like that it does sound a bit ridiculous, possibly the oldest culture in the world vs 50 years of colonial recreation.
Edit: I am lucky enough to have been to Australia twice and so will never go again but have sent an email to PV in the hopes that others can experience the sweet feeling of taking the victory lob off the top of serpentine!
What a mess.Does Oz have anything equivalent to the BMC?It strikes me that would be helpful. I thought the article was overly defensive. He starts off by conceding that climbers’ actions have resulted in many of the issues, then writes a whole paragraph justifying chalk use and accuses ‘walkers’ of causing the graffiti at Hollow Mountain Cave.It doesn’t sound like there’s much real dialogue going on.
To my mind this is equivalent to banning Everest to mountaineers.
Yeah, obviously, this is all about a cheap surface reading of cultural value. It's the leveraging of guilt culture paternalism. One culture’s interests trumping another’s on principle of antecedence, without any other measure of value. Climbers are just an easy group to throw under the bus in service of a confected mea culpa. I don’t know the specific ‘aboriginal’ cultural significance of Taipan Wall. I do know it's of unparalleled significance to rock climbers. To my mind this is equivalent to banning Everest to mountaineers.
When this comes up I always think about Hollow Mountain Cave, are any areas of that restricted? Seems like if anywhere would have had cultural significance, it’s that place.
QuoteYeah, obviously, this is all about a cheap surface reading of cultural value. It's the leveraging of guilt culture paternalism. One culture’s interests trumping another’s on principle of antecedence, without any other measure of value. Climbers are just an easy group to throw under the bus in service of a confected mea culpa. I don’t know the specific ‘aboriginal’ cultural significance of Taipan Wall. I do know it's of unparalleled significance to rock climbers. To my mind this is equivalent to banning Everest to mountaineers. I don't really agree with that interpretation, unless it is aimed at the park authority rather than the broader stakeholders?I've done a fair bit of reading on aboriginal culture and the Australian landscape - far more than I have on the climbing there - and one of the most obvious insights was that Taipan must have been one of the most sacred sites for many, many miles. It doesn't really seem plausible that a highly particular and visible landscape feature such as this would not have been incorporated as a central element of that sacred landscape. But my understanding is that this knowledge was almost completely lost through simply shooting the holders like cattle. Those that survived retain only the scraps of a wealth of detailed cultural knowledge that one anthropologist compared his insights into as 'being permitted to peer through the keyhole of a cathedral'. The idea that this culture is only being valued over climbing due to antecedence is I'm afraid, pretty crass, and it's hard not to see it as another example of white privilege and the colonial trampling these people have received. You could compare it to exterminating climbers and then basing any subsequent estimation of landscape value to climbers purely on where the bolts are, ignoring the obvious bigger picture.So I think there absolutely solid grounds for both genuine remorse and reconciliation and recognizing the significance of these features. I don't agree for a second that automatic bans on access are right or proper or that Parks Victoria are handling this well. But it's not at all surprising to me that, in the context of their culture, the first and perhaps only thing those native people who remain would really look for is control over access to the land. I'm a great believer that climbing often promotes meaningful connections to place but how often does that really extend beyond tourism?
Hmm. I'm not sure the oppression suffered by the two parties here really bears comparison. Try looking at this from the perspective of an aboriginal. What would their priorities be? How would you convince them that climbers are the good guys they have lots in common with rather than just more bad white guys who feel entitled to trample freely across your heritage? One of the most central compenets of aboriginal culture is the way access to land was granted. There was never any blanket freedom to roam, it was based on a system of rights conferred by birth and subsequent negotiated reciprocal arrangements. The big difference with western modes is that this was not done by areas but by paths, but access was something earned. I really think relying on your gut feelings of right and wrong here are a part of the problem not the solution. Those feelings are not relevant outside of the context they were developed in and It's that attitude that has got us where we are.
Climbers are just an easy group to throw under the bus in service of a confected mea culpa.
Quote from: Bonjoy on January 20, 2021, 12:02:33 pmClimbers are just an easy group to throw under the bus in service of a confected mea culpa.Exactly. It is politics. Virtue signalling on indigenous issues plays well with the urban left. Climbing is not a big sport in Australia so climbers are easily ignored. I have been following this tragic situation closely for years (everything Simon Carter has written on the subject is excellent) both because the Grampians are an amazing place and also because the same things are starting to happen in western Canada too, with the same political dynamic. Recently I learned from a very strong young kiwi climber that similar trends to what is happening in the Grampians (compounded by poorly drafted liability law) have long since made climbing in much of NZ, especially on the north island, dysfunctional, with most of the better accessible cliffs now closed. He relocated to Canada as he saw no point in being a climber in NZ any more. Be thankful, Brits, that you are such a mongrel group that teasing out an oppressed indigenous minority to politicise will never be easy. Though ... those Scots?
Was banning climbing Ayer's Rock / Uluru a precursor to this perhaps, the stick now being wielded "climbing on aboriginal sites is bad". I don't think so, but you can't help but wonder.Cave Rock at Tahoe has now had climbing banned since the 1990s due to ancestral claims.
Genuine question - where are the Aboriginals' voices in this? I'm hearing a lot from Parks Victoria and nothing from aboriginals. Why do aboriginal people need Parks Victoria to speak for them in this case? Why could a dialogue not be set up between climbers groups and the Aboriginals, if respecting their culture and heritage is the issue here.
We wished to give an update on our involvement in providing information to the Gariwerd Traditional Owners (GTOs) regarding their decision making in relation to protection of cultural heritage and climbing recreation at Taipan Wall.What we’ve been doingThe GTOs have been very interested and engaged in learning more about how climbers use and access the Taipan Wall area. This special site contains important cultural values and is also a premium site for rock climbing. The intent is for the three organisations to gain information about rock climbing activities at this site to determine where these activities can resume in a way that ensures protection of cultural heritage.GWRN has been on two site visits to Taipan Wall. The initial meeting involved representatives from all GTO groups, and Parks Victoria (PV), who provided information relating to the recent cultural values assessment. This visit established where the values are and enabled informative discussions about climbing activities at this site. GWRN provided a broad overview of climbing at Taipan Wall, for example describing Taipan’s significance to climbers, the number and nature of climbs, approaches, frequency and pattern of usage.Following this, GWRN prepared an initial draft report detailing the distance of the cultural places that have been identified from existing climbing activity, including whether a cultural place is touched by an activity. “Climbing activity” includes climbs, approaches, access tracks and descents. The initial report has been discussed with the GTO groups on several occasions.GWRN requested a follow-up site visit last week to clarify some outstanding questions and explain aspects of the information in the report. This visit was attended by representatives from each of the GTOs, signalling strong support for this process as a test case for how things can move forward.GWRN is in the process of finalising a report to present to the GTOs to support and inform their decision making and planning with PV. Given the sensitivity of the cultural values outlined in the report, GWRN has agreed to only provide a copy of the report directly to the GTOs.We continue to experience a positive and collaborative relationship with the GTOs. Together we acknowledge the difficulty of this work, and the time and commitment it takes to create a robust framework for collaboration in this space.We recognise the immense strain and uncertainty the current situation places on many in our community. We are all in uncharted waters. GWRN is engaged in work that we hope can become a template for others – but it needs time and space to take form.As the recreational use assessment process is worked through we have the following messages for those who would like to demonstrate support for the work the GTOs and GWRN are doing.Be PatientThe Traditional Owners are actively engaged in trialling and developing a granular, site by site recreational use assessment process to inform themselves of what actions they can reasonably take to protect cultural values and allow climbing activities to continue.Site visits are a very time consuming activity. Over the past few months, the three GTOs have dedicated substantial resources at all levels of their organisations to these activities and their engagement with GWRN. The recent site visits and discussion regarding potential for co-existence of climbing and cultural heritage are a positive step, and being patient will enable this process to continue.Traditional Owner groups cannot be compelled by any government agency or politician to engage with climbers or their various representative groups. Traditional Owners have a right to self-determination and informed decision-making in relation to their cultural heritage.Be RespectfulThe climbing community has shown immense respect over the past two years toward requests regarding closures, and toward the recent requests regarding temporary closures at Taipan Wall and Bundaleer. Many individuals, climbing clubs and organisations have stated a desire to help protect and respect cultural heritage. It is challenging but crucial to the success of our efforts that the community continue to demonstrate that commitment. Doing this will help protect cultural heritage, and help us all come to a deeper understanding of our true history to create a shared future.The GTOs are acutely aware of the uncertainty and distress the climbing community is feeling and are committed to finding a path forward. Despite very limited resources, they are investing significant time to find out what they don’t know about climbing to look for solutions. Please respect their efforts by respecting their requests to avoid certain areas.Any disrespect of the temporary closures whilst the current recreational use assessment process is being worked through could compromise it and the possibility of future site visits. If trust in this process develops we hope that it expands far beyond GWRN.The long-term implications of this process shutting down completely at this time are worth reflecting on before deciding on what personal actions to take.Be curious. Be kindOur personal experiences repeatedly remind us that the process of reconciliation is difficult and confronting, especially when there is fear of loss or during times of change. We have avoided these conversations for centuries, and yet, the problems of history for our society and for Aboriginal Communities and Nations don’t seem to go away. What has happened in the past continues to play out before us. The only way we can change the story is through doing something different, and one pathway forward is reconciliation.What might we need to find out about law, history and current Aboriginal society in order to play our part in informed and constructive discussion? How do we learn to sit in the discomfort of uncertainty and loss whilst holding hope that change can lead to a better place for all of us?These are not easy questions to answer nor is it a place to want to be. It’s hard work, and we are all individually grappling with these questions. Karen Mundine, the Chief Executive Officer of Reconciliation Australia, describes how it feels to be engaged in this process:“Reconciliation isn’t a single moment or place in time. It’s lots of small, consistent steps, some big strides, and sometimes unfortunate backwards steps …”In taking consistent and small steps, we hope you will support the respectful dialogues that are now taking place.
more of looking at the value of a site on the basis of first principles. The cultural utility of the area is maximised by a settlement fairly weighting all valid interests.
at least 311 frontier massacres over a period of about 140 years had been documented, revealing "a state-sanctioned and organised attempt to eradicate Aboriginal people
"For myself, if I caught a black actually killing my sheep, I would shoot him with as little remorse as I would a wild dog, but no consideration on earth would induce me to ride into a camp and fire on them indiscriminately, as is the custom whenever the smoke is seen. They [the Aborigines] will very shortly be extinct."
1924. Bedford Downs massacre: a group of Gija and Worla men were tried in Wyndham for spearing a milking cow on the Bedford Downs Station. When released from the court they were given dog tags to wear and told to walk the 200 kilometres back to Bedford Downs. On arrival they were set to work to cut the wood that was later used to burn their bodies. Once the work was finished they were fed food laced with strychnine by white station hands and their writhing bodies were then either shot or they were clubbed to death. The bodies were subsequently burned by the local police.June 1926. Forrest River massacre: Western Australian police constables, James Graham St Jack and Dennis Hastings Regan led a month long punitive expedition against Aboriginal people living in the Forrest River region. After the local mission station reported around 30 people missing, a police investigation was organised. This investigation found that at least 16 Aboriginal people were killed and their remains burnt in three purpose-built stone ovens. The police investigation led to a Royal Commission the following year. During the proceedings of this commission, the suggestion of the evidence of a native being equal to that of a white man was openly mocked. Despite this overt attempt to protect the perpetrators, the Commissioner still found that somewhere between 11 and 20 people were killed and St Jack and Regan were subsequently arrested for murder. Instead of going to trial, the men were brought before police magistrate Kidson who, in spite of the findings of the two previous investigations, deemed that the evidence was insufficient to go before a jury. Regan and St Jack were released and the Premier, Philip Collier, even re-instated them to their previous positions in the Kimberley.
What land is being returned to them is a fraction of what they had, and boils down to the bits we can't use.
Australian government bodies motivated by pleasing the urban left?! I've heard it all now!
Genuine question - where are the Aboriginals' voices in this?
I used the phrase 'conflicting truths' over on the Trump thread which attracted some criticism. This is a perfect example. I don't disagree with any of the perspectives put forward - all of them based on verifiable facts - but none of them are the whole picture.
I am surprised you are so triggered by this. Nothing I wrote is inaccurate. The left in countries like Australia and Canada are predominantly urban, they do claim to care about indigenous issues, and policies relating to indigenous issues are manifesto items in elections. On the other hand, policy is rarely substantive. There is plenty of lip service to slogans like "it is their land", but in cities like Melbourne with some of the priciest real estate on the planet, much of it owned by the middle-class left themselves, proposing to actually give the land back would be electoral suicide. Meanwhile Australia and Canada maintain high rates of skill-based immigration, supported across the political spectrum, which continue to dilute indigenous groups' influence and share of the economy. In British Columbia, net immigration every year is roughly equal to the entire on-reserve indigenous population. So instead there is virtue signalling: setting up yet another independent commission for reconciliation or something like the outdoor museum creation which is effectively happening in the Grampians. Do you think a socioeconomically-disadvantaged aboriginal family in the Melbourne suburbs really give a shit about some piece of bush hundreds of kilometres away being given a cultural site designation? The main beneficiaries of PV's actions are bureaucrats whose jobs are secured and a few archeological consultants - the ACAV guys frequently highlight that one single consultant has a sweet gig with PV to pronounce on all these cultural designations.When I was working in climbing access here I got caught up in an issue not dissimilar to the Grampians situation: the secret transfer of some public land, with cliffs with many classic single-pitch routes, to a local First Nation group, without any prior consultation with outdoor recreation groups. As past of my engagement I spoke with a local FN guy who told me bluntly that 1. the transfer was stupid and irrelevant to him 2. what his family mainly cared about was the nation's tribal council, based 60km away, disputing his family's use of their home site, on which they wanted exclusive use, but which in the feudal reality of these entities is in fact held awkwardly in common. None of this helped at all with resolving the loss of climbing land, because that land decision was being made by white people in government patriarchally doing what they judged to be meaningful for the "natives".In summary this stuff is messy and often not what it seems.
One of the things that really shocked me when I visited Oz, and to some extent tainted my experience, was the deep visceral racism I encountered. Some of the people who expressed these views were friendly climbers who were well educated and travelled. Over a few campfire beers one evening the topic of "Abo's" came up and let's just say it was an instructive listen. It's only 20 years ago but it was not uncommon then to hear indigenous people being talked of in terms of something less than human.Anyway, I'm yet another white guy giving my opinion, and there's too much of that already. Climbing may be on hold for now, but I can't help feel that the long overdue process of climbers talking directly to the traditional owner groups (whatever you feel about their true ownership or right to represent the indigenous owners) is a good thing.Regarding the example of aboriginal heritage families in Melbourne - any examples of the climbers groups who have offered to engage with those people, take them back to their heritage landscape and teach them to climb and cherish it the way we do, whilst learning more about their relationship with the land? I think that would be a really good place to start building a proper, non-woke relationship.
It really can't be overestimated how bad racism is in Australia.
I'm sure JB and others have loads of reading recommendations on the topic of indigenous culture (keen to hear about these) but The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin is a great place to start if anyone is interested.
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