The Liberal Party has pledged an additional $2 million to continue the process of repatriating Aboriginal remains held at the South Australian Museum to Wangayarta and other sites.
The Liberal Party announced this morning that it would allocate $3 million to strengthen First Nations languages and repatriate Aboriginal ancestral remains over the next five years, if re-elected in this week’s state election. .
Of this sum, $2 million would go towards the reburial of some of the 4,500 Aboriginal remains currently held by the South Australian Museum. The remains would be repatriated to Aboriginal communities and, if possible, to Wangayarta – the purpose-built Kaurna Memorial Site in Smithfield, which was unveiled in December last year.
“I am very proud that we have recently been able to bury with respect and dignity the remains of Kaurna ancestors who were previously held away from the country, which means so much to their people and their culture,” said the Prime Minister and Indigenous Affairs Minister Steven Marshall. , noted.
“The world-class pilot project is the first phase of an exceptional project that will have a profound effect on the lives of many, many people – and I look forward to expanding the project to other First Nations.
The South Australian Museum is not permitted to comment on the election pledge due to interim conventions.
CityMag was recently informed that the Kaurna Reference Group, a group of community elders tasked with ensuring that Wangayarta’s first burials take place, would meet this week to discuss future reburials.
Today the remains of 130 elderly people were returned from the South Australian Museum for interment in a purpose-built Kaurna cemetery in Wangayarta. pic.twitter.com/nbPvTEodqk
— Angela Skujins (@angelaskujins) December 6, 2021
The Liberal Party has also pledged $350,000 a year to the Reawakening Aboriginal Languages Project – an online initiative launched last year with the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide aimed at ensuring that at least 46 Aboriginal languages of South Australia are not lost forever.
The website was initially led by the South Australian Museum and the University of Adelaide and this funding would allow further development of the website.
Labor MLC and Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Kyam Maher said CityMag the Marshall government had been a “dismal failure” on Aboriginal affairs, pointing to the cut in funding for the Tauondi Aboriginal Community College in Port Adelaide.
“Labour has already made commitments far beyond what Steven Marshall announced today,” he said.
“With regard to Tauondi College, the Labor Party has pledged $4 million to transfer the building and ownership to Aboriginal control.”
If successful in forming the government, Maher said the Labor Party would inject $2.5 million into rebuilding the Decayed Yadu Aboriginal Health Clinic in Ceduna and $5 million for Anotangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands clinic Nganampa Health.
“Nganampa Health in APY lands has made it known to the government that it is at risk of closing without adequate funding,” he said.
“We [also] We have a $1 million commitment for Indigenous statues and monuments and we have allocated $2 million to restart the treaty process.
Maher did not respond to direct questions about whether his party would allocate funds for future reburials and the online language revival project, but that the Labor Party would “consider” how best to pursue these projects. if he succeeded in forming the government.
“We will absolutely work with Indigenous peoples and communities to see how we can best continue with programs and reburials,” he said.