Australia, Sean Spruce, U.S. discussed on Native America Calling
Tribal colleges and universities at AI HEC dot org. Native voice one the Native American radio network. This is Native American calling. I'm Sean spruce. January 26th marks a day of national pride in Australia. It's a date set aside to pay tribute to the day in 1788, the British naval fleet sailed into Sydney harbor. The other side of the story is one in which Aboriginal and Torres island people see the day is commemorating the start of colonial oppression. The first protest against Australia day came in 1938, but the arguments to dispense with or recast today have gained more traction in recent years. Once again, this year, protesters at several events across the country are raising their voices against what they call invasion day. You may not be aware of Australia day, but it has parallels in the U.S. to Columbus day and the 4th of July. We'd like you to join today's conversation. What do you think of holidays that commemorate the arrival of colonizers who transformed indigenous populations? Can there be holidays honoring both colonial and indigenous achievements? Give us a call the number one 809 9 6 two 8 four 8. That's one 809 9 native phones are open. Joining us today from New York City is doctor Elsbeth martini. She's an assistant Professor of history at montclair state university. Welcome to Native American calling doctor martini. Thanks, Sean. Good to be with you. Doctor martini, I'd like to provide some background. Please give us a history. What led up to Australia day? Well, the holiday, I'm sorry, you probably have to ask another gift for the actual commemorative history. But it does, as you said in your introduction, it's similar to Columbus day in the United States in that it's remembering that this moment of the so called European landing on the Australian continent. And the first permanent settlement, in fact, for Australia day, and it was originally in 1788 when the S.W.A.T. Australia calls the first fleet, a fleet of 11 ships, 6 of them were carrying convicts, so they were transported to Australia for crimes. That was the sentence. And it was set up as a penal colony as a place to take these convex. And that actually does link to U.S. history or North American history as well because the British were sending their convicts to the North American colonies until the revolution, of course, in the U.S. wouldn't accept them anymore. So yeah, Australia is kind of interesting because it was chosen as the day of nationalism to celebrate the nation, but Australia is a nation with informed until 1901 when 6 of the original British colonies formed a nation. So it's commemorating something over a hundred years ago that they're British invasion of indigenous Australia. So you mentioned this all occurred in 1788, the British navy was transporting convicts and they saw Australia as a place to house those people. But the British were already relatively familiar with Australia. They had been there before, right? Could you talk about when they first arrived predating 1788? Yes. So the sort of great man style European history, the person who celebrated his captain James cook and historians people familiar with Pacific history would also know captain cook because what he did in the island in the Pacific. But yeah, he made the first kind of British contact with the east coast of Australia. So there had been European to it kind of chatted the coast made contact with other parts of the Australian continent, but yeah, cook was the first British person in 1770. He made contact with Australia. And he had a mandate to kind of report back on what he found on the people there, that kind of thing. Okay. So that captain cook, holy cow, he really got around. Especially in what are now U.S. states of Hawaii and Alaska and also Australia too. So really, really fascinating. I think what's interesting and a lot of our listeners today in the states might not be familiar with how recent a lot of this history is and European contact did not occur in Australia until roughly 250 years ago. So, you know, you look at an American history and we go back to the late 1400s. So this is a much, much more recent timeline that we're looking at, which I think is really, really interesting. Elsbeth, can you explain how do Australians typically celebrate Australia day today? Well sort of, I guess mainstream felicie. I wouldn't say Australia doesn't quite have the same sort of patriotic spirit as the U.S. but people they get a day off work mostly as the Australian open. Being played is always a cricket match being played to people normally spend it with friends and family having a grill kind of cook out that kind of that kind of thing. It's seen as this sort of relaxed holiday, but it's also this day when the Australian government announces the award so the Australian of the year, the order of Australia metals, those kind of things. So you mentioned that Australia has only been a country since 1901. When exactly did Australia day become a national holiday? Oh, that's something I would have to look up, I'm sorry. I'm not being a historian of the commemoration, but yeah, I can find out for you. When it became a day. And I know part of just discussing this with friends and family back home in Australia that the part of the discussion is to change the date because rather than commemorate the invasion perhaps there's a more feeding date to remember the actual coming together of the Australian nation, it's problematic is that is too for the perspective of indigenous peoples, but at least it wouldn't be a commemoration of that first invasion. Okay. Now, earlier you mentioned some of the history 1788 convicts being transported from Great Britain. There were colonies that were set up as well. What were the initial interactions between the British and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders? To cook had a.