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Souvenir shenanigans at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy?

By nanzan - 30 July 2010 36

Something is brewing at the Tent Embassy and it has to do with souvenirs.

On a recent visit I noticed that the area around the mosaic at the Tent Embassy is now decked out with tables selling all manner of Australiana souvenirs. There is new handmade signage directing people to the items on sale and that the proceeds go to the Tent Embassy, including for the purchase of firewood for the sacred fire. Several “donation” boxes are in place for people to pop their money into.

However, I have been informed, that the people behind the souvenirs – which include Aboriginal-themed paintings and other craft items – are not connected with the Tent Embassy in any way, and that they have only set up shop there in the last couple of weeks, and that although they have set up a caravan and tents at the Embassy, and are staying there, they do not have approval for this from either the Tent Embassy community or the NCA.

(The look – and the authenticity – of the place is not enhanced by the fact that the new signage for all the goods on sale is replete with spelling errors – with words such as “table”, “sacred” and “please” all misspelt – which must be confusing for overseas visitors! The suggestion was also made to me that the souvenirs are far from genuine – and had been purchased elsewhere at a much lower price.)

ED: While we’re on the subject of the Tent Embassy Hank had this to say:

I just came back from a meeting and noticed some of the occupants at the tent embassy at Old Parliament house had some pet dogs that were fighting one another. Although I have no problems with them I was curious to the rules on keeping pets there?

What’s Your opinion?


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36 Responses to
Souvenir shenanigans at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy?
p1 3:42 pm 30 Jul 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Because building an embassy would be an acknowledgement that Aboriginal people are aliens in Australia, representatives of a sovereign state.

Exactly. As I said earlier, it looks messy and terrible, but if it didn’t I would drive by and never notice them, and have one less thought about Indigenous issues.

Woody Mann-Caruso 3:32 pm 30 Jul 10

Why can’t they have a building with proper facilities

Because building an embassy would be an acknowledgement that Aboriginal people are aliens in Australia, representatives of a sovereign state.

affordable 3:28 pm 30 Jul 10

are they treated so bad, as we are told constantly by the vested interests.
are they forced to live as they do ? how many people want to leave Palm island, are they being held hostage, do they not receive government funding, where does the money go

Woody Mann-Caruso 3:17 pm 30 Jul 10

You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.

Like racists?

georgesgenitals 3:16 pm 30 Jul 10

Jim Jones said :

georgesgenitals said :

The Tent Embassy is a national disgrace, and this just makes it worse.

The tent embassy is less of national disgrace than the treatment of Aboriginal people in this country.

Absolutely. Why can’t they have a building with proper facilities to give them the opportunity to display their culture and to provide them with an administrative base for supporting their movement?

Solidarity 2:58 pm 30 Jul 10

You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.

Jim Jones 2:11 pm 30 Jul 10

georgesgenitals said :

The Tent Embassy is a national disgrace, and this just makes it worse.

The tent embassy is less of national disgrace than the treatment of Aboriginal people in this country.

Woody Mann-Caruso 2:10 pm 30 Jul 10

The fact that people in the Tent Embassy have better living conditions than most Aboriginal people in remote and very remote areas of Australia is a national disgrace

FTFY, DHRF

Hells_Bells74 1:54 pm 30 Jul 10

Funny, I rent from the Govt. and my lease states I will not use any part of the land or house for commercial purposes. Nor any signage/advertising for commercial purposes.

That’s how it should be. So if I were aboriginal and scabbed land off them, I would be fine to make money off their land?

No, I know that’s silly and I definitely feel they deserve most of the help they get plus more. I hate to see any humans abusing position/charity though.

grump 1:37 pm 30 Jul 10

Captain RAAF – as a money making venture you’d make more than the souvenir sellers if you sold tickets to drive the bulldozer through the area!

georgesgenitals 1:37 pm 30 Jul 10

The Tent Embassy is a national disgrace, and this just makes it worse.

Captain RAAF 1:24 pm 30 Jul 10

You have to get permission from the tent embassy to set up dodgy accommodation at the tent embassy?

I also, am collecting for the tent embassy then, all monies will be put to hiring a bloody great bulldozer to push the entire disgraceful site into LBG!

OooOoOoh, racial insensitivity, quick get him!

chewy14 1:02 pm 30 Jul 10

Aurelius said :

Is it just me who finds it ironic when someone cannot spell ‘misspelled’ in a rant critical of other people’s literacy standards?

Both are correct.

p1 12:35 pm 30 Jul 10

nanzan said :

There is new handmade signage directing people to the items on sale and that the proceeds go to the Tent Embassy, including for the purchase of firewood for the sacred fire. Several “donation” boxes are in place for people to pop their money into.

I guess the question is, does the Tent Embassy have some sort of legal entity (or is it associated with one) which will receive this money? Or is it just being handed to one of the residents on the day to do with as they wish?

As much as the look of the place irks me at time, you can’t argue that seeing a dodgy collection of tents and semi permanent structures looking run down does make you think about the situation of many of the indigenous people of Australia.

And to Hanks comment, I guess it is about as legal as setting up a camp site at the location.

Aurelius 12:18 pm 30 Jul 10

Is it just me who finds it ironic when someone cannot spell ‘misspelled’ in a rant critical of other people’s literacy standards?

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