In my state of Victoria, Australia, a group of indigenous women from the Djab Wurrung tribe have been fighting the State Government to save their ancient birthing trees, I attended a rally of support outside our Parliament House yesterday.
Among the women speaking out against the eviction of the Djab Wurrung protection embassy camp and the removal of thousands of trees between Buangor and Ararat, including some 200 sacred birthing and direction trees, some of which are believed to be around 800-years-old, embassy leader DT Zellanach travelled from country to speak into power, supporting the rally’s calls of “no trees, no treaty.” The embassy camp has been actively blocking the removal of the trees for around 14 months, despite notices of eviction from the Victorian government being delivered to make way for Major Road Projects Victoria to begin clearing the land.
Our government declared a public square that is just 17 years old, Federation Square being added to the state’s heritage register in recognition of its cultural significance to Victoria. Yet they will not recognise the birthing trees which are around 800 years old the same protection.
When did we forget that nature and the lore of the indigenous people of our country are just as important, if not more so?
What has society said about the rights of mother earth and its peoples over the centuries, remembering that the First Australians are the world’s longest existing culture who had looked after this land for 60,000 years before European settlement, lets have a look:
1. We are the only European settled country that does not have a treaty with the indigenous people of the land we invaded, our relationship with them suffers accordingly.
2. Embassy leader DT Zellanach had this to say at the rally: Zellanach: We are the land. What you do to our country you do to us. We’ve never ceded sovereignty.
Our women and children are the most oppressed people in this land. I get sick and tired of seeing what men want to do to our women and children. The trees are Women’s business: Wild Women Do.
3. The actions the Djab Wurrung women have taken to raise support to resist for 14 months is truly magnificent.
4. These women can clearly hear their regions earthsong: Earth.
5. Sixty thousand years, I believe we have something to learn off these women before it is too late.
6. Ralph Emerson was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, he died in 1882. Luckily there are still people like the Djab Wurrung women who are willing to stand up for their rights: Eve of Destruction.
7. Clearly does not satisfy the Victorian State Government.
8. A quirky individual, Michael Jackson stood for the earth, he possibly would have been at the embassy if he was alive today: Earthsong.
9. I consider the Djab Wurrung women Earth Angels.
10 What are the birthing trees but not the soul of the Djab Wurrung nation: With Arms Wide Open.
11. Our premier, Daniel Andrews has forgotten this, No Trees, No Treaty.
12. I was gifted the ability to hear the earth by an indigenous elder at Confest, sometimes I hear the earth crying, I sure you can hear the trees on the Embassy site: The Memory of The Trees.
13. To all the people who attended the rally with me, thank you for giving the trees a chance.
14. Many Christians who follow the greed train seem to have forgotten this quote from their holy book, including members of our state government in this situation: Timeless Land.
15. And for our final lesson some words from one of the great women of this and the last century, Maya Angelou. To the Djab Wurrung women, I stand with you, No Trees, No Treaty.
Indigenous land, it’s where you stand, we cannot keep denying 60,000 years of occupation. Time for a treaty, and time to protect the Djab Wurrung sacred birthing trees.
Today’s playlist is about the Earth, birthing and trees. We begin with Natalie Cole. Some rap from Little Dicky follows, then we go back to the 1960s to Barry McGuire to demonstrate we haven’t really learnt the lesson this song is about. Then a Michael Jackson song I actually had never heard of. Creed follows with a beautiful ode to birthing then, the penultimate song is from Enya and we complete with a tune from one of Australia’s preeminent indigenous bands Yothu Yindi in praise of the timelessness of our ancient continent and its first people: Love The Trees Until Their Leaves Fall Off!!
I have not written a political based blog for several years but realised that it was time to reenter that space. No Trees, No Treaty. If we are to have Love and Respect for All, Everyone Included becoming the worlds catchcry all must be willing to take action. Until we meet again, my dear friends. Remember if you wish to receive my blogs sign on in the follow space.