Solidarity with First Nations People
The drivers and impacts of climate change are matters of deep injustice that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction and climate impacts. There are 22 new gas projects slated across these lands now called Australia and First Nations peoples are leading struggles against them – from the Narrabri gas project in the Pilliga forest on Gomeroi country, to underground coal gasification at Leigh Creek and Copley on Adnyamathanha country, and unconventional gas exploration in the Beetaloo Sub-basin in the Northern Territory (Jawoyn, Alawa, Jingili, Walmanpa, Warumungu, Ngandji and Binbinga and other lands).
We acknowledge the sovereignty of the First Peoples of Australia and walk together, seeking to build a church and nation of justice and reconciliation.
Some ways to support:
- Learn about, pray for and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led initiatives for climate justice and care for country/creation, such as Common Grace (an online movement pursuing Jesus and justice), the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network, Original Power, the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council in the Galilee Basin Qld, and Our Islands Our Home in the Torres Strait.
- Stand in solidarity with broader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander struggles for justice:
- With two Aboriginal people dying in custody this week, Aboriginal deaths in custody needs urgent and national attention. Take action and pray using Common Grace’s resources.
- May 26 is National Sorry Day where as a nation, together, we remember and acknowledge The Stolen Generations, including the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities and the ongoing impacts today. May 27-June 3 is National Reconciliation Week. Look out for resources for these events in coming weeks, including National Reconciliation Week resources from Common Grace and the Assembly.
- Follow updates and calls to action from the NSW/ACT Synod’s Relationship and Service Manager, Anaiwon and Gomeroi man Nathan Tyson.
- Learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resistance throughout history, for example by accessing this timeline from Original Power.
- Acknowledge First Peoples when you gather at your church, and pray for justice. See resources from the Uniting Church Assembly and Common Grace.
- When organising events and initiatives on climate change, make spaces to be led by, hear and learn from First Nations voices.
- Be encouraged to learn deeply about the place where you live and cultivate a healthy relationship to that country. Listen to presentations by Panninher man and Uniting Church minister the Rev. Tim Matton-Johnson and Nathan Tyson.