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2004GIR Government – Business Relations

Workshop 10 – Globalisation, Development and First Peoples’

1. HOW HAS GLOBALISATION IMPACTED FIRST PEOPLES?


- Globalisation provides the potential for cultural change at an unprecedented rate and scale.
With the advent of communication technologies and the mobility of modern peoples, the
geographic boundaries which formerly shaped people’s understandings of themselves and the
world are collapsing.

- Emerging from this is a unique opportunity for people to learn more about each other and to
share knowledge about themselves.
- In particular, globalisation establishes a context for radical change in the social and political
environments of indigenous peoples. At the forefront is an emerging process of decolonisation,
which involves not only the deconstruction of colonial processes and the assumptions upon
which colonialism is based, but, as a result, the transformation of social and political orders.

- The value of this lies with the empowerment that comes from identifying common goals, many
of which arise from the lived experiences of colonialism.

- There is the potential for indigenous peoples from those countries with colonial histories to find
a sense of unity and common purpose arising from their colonial experiences. One of the core
concerns which emerges from this volume is the overwhelming extent to which indigenous
agendas are transformative, concerned with ‘change in and transformation of the roles and
structures which control [them]’.

2. WHY IS DEVELOPMENT SUCH AS MINING SUCH A SIGNIFICANT ISSUE FOR FIRST


PEOPLES IN AUSTRALIA?
- Some sacred sites within the Jabiluka and Ranger mineral leases, such as the Boywek-Almundj
Sacred Site Complex (close to the proposed uranium mine), have not been given "protection"
by the mining company or by the government despite having been publicly identified by the
traditional owners and custodians.
- The physical threat to such sites has immense cultural, spiritual, and legal significance. Land
has a fundamental social and economic importance to indigenous societies, one that can be
disrupted and substantially transformed by mining operations.

3. WHAT RESPONSIBILITIES DO GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS HAVE IN RELATION TO


FIRST PEOPLES?
- strive to deliver international programs that improve outcomes for indigenous peoples.
- ensure an inclusive workplace culture across the department.
- employment and business programs to benefit traditional owners
- measures to protect cultural heritage and environment.