An Important Message from Brian Butler

There is a link between how Indigenous people are treated and the fate of the land. This has been true for several hundred years at least. What may be less apparent is that the fate of Indigenous people will ultimately be the spiritual and ecological fate of all. Perpetual grief stalks our world.

5 thoughts on “An Important Message from Brian Butler

  1. It’s so true.

    Forty per cent of the Indigenous population in Australia is aged 15 and under. A result of colonisation and displacement – poor tucker, poor lifestyle choices, poor health – lots of distress and grief.

    As many of the health problems stem from a poor diet, we are currently working on getting the message out to all communities (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) that fruit (2 serves per person per day) and vegies (5 serves) should make up 40% of the family food budget, and 20% should be cereals and grains.

  2. In the remote communities it’s definitely a problem. One based on a negative cycle too I suspect. Small local stores charge a fortune due to the cost of transportation, and because demand is low. Low demand equals reduced availability and high cost.

    Our Indigenous people also don’t have a culture of growing their own, they got everything they needed straight from the land. I’m not sure if there are any preventative programmes in remote communities on this theme.

    I saw a documentary on a Native American group of elders a while ago, working with the young ones to produce their own food under domes, and emphasising the importance of home cooked and traditional meals (instead of take-away). It was a very desolate place where the people had been relocated, instead of their productive homelands.

    In the urban areas cost and availability is not really an issue. There is an abundance of high quality fruit and vegies due to our mild climate for a very good price. One of our Indigenous workers decided to try out the theory of spending 40% on fruit & veg, and 20% on cereals and grains, and she saved $200 on her weekly food shop. Some of the more isolated suburbs have the problem of low demand too.

    1. Thanks, Narelle,

      Here generations of folks raised on “commodity” food (government surplus food that is high is carbs and low in nutrients) has created a culture of poor diet and reduced life expectancy in many places where incomes are low (esp some reservations). Folks who can grow their own food are in much better shape, as are those who know how to forage and preserve. If one is low income and living in urban areas, one is also very likely to eat poorly, due to lack of availability and localized high prices. Yet the government stubbornly supports a pricing system that rewards poor diets and harms the people….. (ie. supports corporate profiets over human and ecosystem health)

      Michael Watson M.A., Ph.D., LCMHC, JourneyWorks 11Kilburn Street Burlington Vermont 05408 802-860-6203

      > Date: Tue, 2 Jul 2013 02:20:11 +0000 > To: >

      1. Oh yes, same here. It’s one of the best ways to repress people.

        The older I get the more clearly I see the negative cycles and how putting into place some positives generates more positives. It requires lots of enthusiasm though, and commitment, because sometimes things get worse before they get better. And because change is hard, but so necessary.

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