Artist: Jack Green
The River is alive, just like a human being – 2021
Paintings – Acrylic on Canvas – 61 x 61 cm
It doesn’t matter what way you look, north, south, east or west, for us Aboriginal people all our Country is very important. Rivers in our Country are just like human beings, they have a life just like us. Rivers are important for us Gudanji, Garrwa, Marra and Yanyuwa people because they give us life. They give us the water we drink, and they provide us with food. For a long time now, we have been coming together under our Law often at important places where there is water. At these places we traded or held ceremonies. In the past people traded tools, spears, axes, come-back boomerangs, ochre and all kinds of things. Coming together for the four clans of the Borroloola region was important as people could talk, plan ceremonies, talk about important things and make decisions. Today, it’s real hard for us four clan groups to come together to talk and to make decisions under our Law. Near Borroloola we got a big mine at McArthur River, the mining company, Glencore, cut the river and dug up one of the sacred sites, and every time we try and come together, like people used to do, not too long ago, the mines always got people about, working for them trying to undermine us, or talk for us in our place. Glencore never meets with us when we say we want to all come together under our law and talk, they work to split us, make us weak and dig our country and destroy our river that gives us life.