Last weekend, I went to a seminar organised by the Ngiya National Institute of Indigenous Law, Policy and Practice to discuss various issues relating to economic policy affecting indigenous communities. In doing some background research, one point (familiar to those who’ve followed the debate closely, but not to most others) cam through very clearly, particularly in this paper by John Taylor and Owen Stanley
Contrary to claims that the problems of indigenous communities have had buckets of money thrown at them with nothing to show for it, expenditure on services for indigenous communities is typically less (or no more than) what would be spent on comparable non-indigenous communities. In discussion over dinner, the case of Jigalong in WA was mentioned. This community has been trying for some time to set itself up a town council so that it can get funding comparable to nearby, mainly white, communities, notably Mt Newman. Today’s Oz has a prominent report on this.
A nice feature of the weekend was that quite a few participants turned out to be readers of this blog. Since my site counter broke a few months ago, I have no idea how many readers there are at present, but these days I seem to meet them wherever I go.