A group of young Indigenous women were left looking confused during a confrontation with Senator Pauline Hanson when she claimed she was ‘Indigenous’.
The One Nation leader travelled out to Kata-Tjuta National Park in the Northern Territory with Channel Nine’s A Current Affair to protest the ban on climbing the iconic landmark, which will take effect from October 26.
Senator Hanson claimed her appeal to keep the Uluru climb open was about helping Indigenous Australians and protecting jobs for the local Anangu people, but the Indigenous women she spoke with disagreed.
While stopping at a local cafe, the senator was filmed speaking with the women, who told her the rock was “a big part of our Indigenous culture.”
“As an Indigenous person, climbing Uluru is very disrespectful,” one member of the group said.
The senator argued: “I’m Indigenous, I was born here, I’m native to the land. So, you know, I’m Australian as well, and I’m Indigenous.”
When asked by ACA’s reporter why one of the group had a “doubtful look” on her face in response to this, the girl replied: “She’s Indigenous?”
“Yeah I am,” Ms Hanson replied, “Do you know the word Indigenous? It means native to the land, I was born here. Where’s my land if not Australia?”
Prompting the girl to reply: “England?”.
Pauline Hanson asked this young Indigenous woman if she knows what the word Indigenous means, here's how she responded. pic.twitter.com/X7JwIAHJ1Q— SBS News (@SBSNews) August 26, 2019
Ms Hanson said it wasn’t though before she wasn’t born in England.
When the senator told the group that she had travelled to Uluru to speak with the traditional land owners and listen to what they had to say, the young women appeared offended their views were not being considered.
"So our opinion doesn't matter? Even though we're Indigenous?” one asked.
“Beautiful," another local woman responded.
The One Nation leader said she had been invited to visit Uluru by a senior member of the Anangu Mayatja Council of Elders, and met with them to get their blessing to climb the iconic landmark.
She was then filmed embarking out on the climb but only made it partway up before abandoning the feat, claiming her shoes were causing her to slip.
"Seriously, I cannot walk down here, my boots are that bloody old," she told A Current Affair, which was filming the visit. The footage showed the Senator wearing running shoes.
She managed to take in the famous site from the ground, calling it “absolutely magnificent”.
"You know, I imagined it, but unless you're really here in front of it, it's really hard to understand," she said.
Australians support Uluru as a ‘sacred’ site
Following the segment airing on Monday night, hundreds of Australians took to social media in support of the landmark’s closure and to criticise Senator Hanson.
“How hard is it to understand that Uluru is SACRED to the traditional owners of this land?? The only reason people want to climb it is pure arrogance and selfishness,” one wrote on Facebook.
Pauline Hanson just stated on national television that she’s indigenous because she was born in Australia and had the audacity to ask an indigenous person if they know what the term meant. You’re a 100% certified moron Pauline.— Ron Gabriel (@ron_gabriel) August 26, 2019
I don’t need to decide. It’s not for me to decide. It’s sacred Aboriginal land that was handed back to them before I was even born. I don’t get to decide what my local cathedrals do. This is the same. Now, do I get to decide if Hanson looks like a moron doing this? Yes, she does.— Kate Murray (@kateemma22) August 24, 2019
Of course it’s not right. Any decent person knows this.— Jen (@Jen04) August 24, 2019
“We don't climb cathedrals, mosques and temples, nor is climbing allowed on the Pyramids. It's possible to enjoy and appreciate something without clambering all over it,” another added.
A third added: “It is not ours. It belongs to the indigenous people. Respect their wishes.”
However, some voiced their opposition to the climbing ban, with one person arguing: “Temples, mosques & Pyramids are all man made. The Rock is not. people climb Mt Everest etc, why should they be stopped from climbing the Rock?”
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