Wednesday, 31 May 2017
ROD LITTLE - ABORIGINAL ELDER, A FONT OF GRANDFATHERLY LOVE & WISDOM FROM A GENTLEMAN OF PRINCIPLES
Rod Little is a big man - so I noticed him as soon as I entered the room, most Aboriginal men I have met at the United Nations have been giants compared to the average man alive today, all of them seem to be over 6 feet tall, for theirs has always been an ancient and mighty race, know to have been inhabiting Australia for at least 60,000 years - a time span that covers the period when Neanderthals still (and last) dominated in Europe!
However, Rod prefers to listen before he speaks, so he spent the greater part of the first day of his training absorbing information...but when he does decide to speak, everyone listens. Not just because you can sense the raw emotion and truth in all that he is saying...but for me it was like having the privilege of being in the presence of my maternal grandfather once again...and I did not want the moment to end (because my grandfather died when I was 6 years old and I never got to hear his words of wisdom growing up...not directly anyway...only through my mum and her siblings who faithfully repeated them to me and my siblings).
Rod has that Grandfatherly love and wise counsel countenance about him, and I had no idea that a movie about a true sad story of Australia's Aborigines - that I watched with my family and shed a tear over - was HIS family's story! I am talking about the critically acclaimed movie called 'Rabbit-Proof-Fence''. So it was a great honor to hear him talk about his aunts (whom the movie was about), yet saddening again to hear how white Australian nurses in the hospital in his elderly aunts final days were still referring to her.....an aboriginal grandmother for heavens sake - as 'that dirty black bitch'' (because they did not understand that she was asking to go to the bathroom in her own language and so they ignored her, and then blame her for the inevitable result of bodily movements when you are bedridden and too old to get up and go to relieve yourself on your own.
Our Aboriginal elder brother Rod Little (Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia''s First Peoples) speaks briefly in the raw unedited clips below about his own childhood trauma of being forcibly taken away from his family and sent to a Church run Mission residential school in Australia where abuse of Aboriginal children was rampant, yet he RETURNED to spend parts of the holiday (the one time each year these kids could get free of this nightmarish place and temporarily return to their families) to comfort those other Aboriginal children who had no family to go back to (because they were either all dead or whereabouts unknown). Only a true human being of noble character would do such a thing for the sake of others - and at such a young age - just a child himself - as well.
Rod was in New York attending the 16th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at UN Headquarters, and he received a pre-UNPFII training course offered by the Tribal Link Foundation - called Project Access ....taught by respected Indigenous Rights expert Andrea Carmen of the International Indian Treaty Council/IITC, and co-mentored by Ghazali Ohorella (Alifaru), Damon Corrie (Lokono-Arawak), Tai Pellicier (Taino-Arawak), and Victor Anthony Lopez-Carmen (Yaqui & Lakota).
ROD LITTLE OF AUSTRALIA SPEAKS ABOUT RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL ABUSES
You should note that the famous and gut-wrenchingly sad documentary movie that was made about some Aboriginal victims of the Australian Residential School system - a movie called 'Rabbit-proof Fence' was actually made about Rods family.
ROD LITTLE OF AUSTRALIA SPEAKS ABOUT HIS AUNT'S MOTHER WHO''S SAD STORY WAS MADE INTO A FAMOUS MOVIE
WATCH THE TRAILER FOR IT ON YOUTUBE HERE: