What will you do to

Make Indigenous Poverty History?

I know you think you should make a trip to Calcutta, but I strongly advise you to save your airfare and spend it on the poor in your own country. It’s easy to love people far away. It’s not always easy to love those who live right next to us – Mother Theresa

The Make Indigenous Poverty History project aims to ensure that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) do not overlook the poverty suffered by Indigenous Peoples around the world, especially in Australia.

The MDGs do not specifically target Indigenous Peoples yet, worldwide, they are most affected by extreme poverty and usually rank at the bottom of most social and economic indicators. This is certainly true in Australia where statistics show that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are living in poverty. The life expectancy of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is some 10 – 12 years less than non-Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal people suffer more from preventable diseases, higher unemployment, lower house ownership, lower engagement with education and are more likely to be a victim of violence.

Poverty is a very real and debilitating experience for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We believe that the MDGs must be aligned with poverty reduction strategies that address the particular needs of Indigenous peoples. Without the meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples their marginalisation and exclusion will continue. In particular NATSIEC is calling on all State and Federal governments to commit to adapting the MDGs to ensure that by 2015 the living standards and levels of health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are comparable to those of the rest of Australia – not to the poorest of the world’s poor.

To find out more about MIPH go to our website – www.makeindigenouspovertyhistory.org