I have just attended a World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Education in Melbourne (capital of Victoria, Australia). It was an awesome event to be present at and to!

It made me think about my Jewish ancestors and how they were indigenous people in the Middle East.

Here's the website: http://www.wipce2008.com/

There were over 300 sessions of presentations, workshops, lectures and papers with some 3000 people at the closing ceremony and I came away feeling quite overwhelmed and very optimistic about the direction of indigenous politics in places like Canada, New Zealand and Hawaii and even parts of Australia like Victoria where the conference was held.

Many, many issues remain to be addressed and like any living process there is an infinite amount of diversity, so no attempt to summarise such an event can begin to do justice to the richness of life on this planet. One message comes through strongly though and that is to find a peace process that includes the world's First Peoples,

In love light and peace, shalom, salaam, Om shanti, Ben/Arjuna

(Arjuna is my Sufi name)

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Thanks Ben for your report.

I wonder though who the real First People really are. Who draws the line in the sand and on what basis? In Australia's case, that is simpler than most. But elsewhere?

==PmR

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