Posted on March 8, 2020
|The Australian, To The Editor, Re:Living Hard, Dying Young in the Kimberly|
Rothwell highlights the suicide, alcohol, drugs, violence and self-harm crisis amongst the Indigenous community located within the Kimberley area. This is a long, complicated and continuing problem experienced in majority of Aboriginal communities throughout Australia.
As a national peak body for Indigenous languages and a board consisting of 14 Indigenous directors across the nation, the Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages and Culture Corporation (FATSILC) believe these problems are occurring due to the lack of strong cultural identity and connection between traditional culture and mainstream influences. The problems which are prominent in Aboriginal communities today have been escalating for over 200 years. The slow breakdowns of traditional language and culture have been instrumental in the escalation of drug and substance abuse, domestic violence, suicide and self-harm, as Aboriginal people have lost their strong identity in whom they are where they come from and where they are going.
FATSILC is the national peak body for community based indigenous language programs in Australia. The organisation was established in 1991 in response to the Australian Language and Literacy Policy.
FATSILC’s position is to see Aboriginal and Torres Island languages and culture embedded in policies and procedures in all the areas of health, education, youth, justice and legal, housing, social and employment. These policies and procedures should be fully in practice and utilised when engaging Indigenous people within these service areas, not just token programs on the side.
CC: ABC Online