People think that I am not entitled to feel the same prejudice as my ancestors did because I was born in Australia. They call me psychotic, overly opinionated – an idiot. They always ask me why I embrace my heritage instead of shunning it. They ask me to bury my reason in English so they can understand. I will not stop fighting. I will not break my connection so their lazy English can fix its lips around it. It doesn’t matter where I am or where I was born. I have my ancestors face and their blood runs deep under my flesh. I am woven together by the strings of many indigenous nations. I was sent here by my ancestors to speak their story and to teach. I will not people baptise me in their hate and ignorance as a poor excuse for their weakness. With letters I try to snatch my indigenous (to North and Central America) freedom back, and will continue to do so until the day I bury my feet in the dust of the plains my ancestors walked generations before I was born. People will try to overthrow me as they are intimidated of anything that tells them how it is. They fear me for it. My existence is a gift of my parent’s determination – to preserve a bloodline that dates back before Columbus. A bloodline swathed in misunderstanding, prejudice and bigotry. My birth upon this Earth is a medal to my ancestors to sayTHEY HAVE NOT LOST. My voice and my protection of the indigenous nations stretching from North to South America is my frantic attempt to save the blood and flesh watered down by centuries of bigotry. I have never been to the great plateau, but my voice carries me to a plain, a vessel and an Earth I’ve never been to but have felt many times in the pit of my heart. I feel closer and closer and closer to my nations by wrapping myself in this voice and this power. I will not let the people break me, as I have a strength that can not be broken. It was a gift from my ancestors and they birthed me in 3 syllables. The great plateau is my country – my ink. Stretching from North America to Central Mexico, where the Aztec empire thrived. My voice and my strength is the signature at the end of the last letter before the pilgrims come to strip my culture away. It is the air that fills my lungs when I tell people why I am the way I am. It is the inhale that speaks the truth of hidden America. I REFUSE to break myself into dust because people are too weak to carry my voice in their mouths. I will not stop fighting, and I will no longer let people talk down to me as if I am nothing.
Scientific name: Puffinus tenuirostris
Short-tailed shearwaters have a blunt tail, black bill and a wing span of one metre.
Distribution & abundance
Short-tailed shearwaters breed in colonies around Tasmania, on islands in Bass Strait and in South-east Australia. Colonies range in size from several hundred pairs to a single colony in excess of one million pairs on Babel Island (Bass Strait). The total population is presently estimated at approximately nine million breeding pairs with another five million non-breeding birds.
The birds can fly up to 40 knots, and reach their Antarctic feeding grounds in three-to-four days from Tasmania.
Short-tailed shearwaters migrate every year to the North Pacific Ocean and reach the Arctic Ocean, north of Alaska before returning to their colonies in September. Their migratory path is now known to be more directly north-south, and not the figure-of-eight, around the Pacific Ocean as previously thought.
Conservation status: least concern
The birds dig nesting burrows into soft sandy soils. The burrows can be up to two metres long and there is some competition between shearwaters and penguins in some colonies at the start of the breeding season.
Short-tailed shearwaters, like all other petrels, lay only one egg per season. They can live for more than 30 years and generally have the same breeding partner each season.
The chicks are hatched in January and depart the colonies in April. After the last feeding by their parents, the chicks weigh more than their parents. The last meal is large enough to sustain the chick for up to three weeks before it departs the burrow.
Shearwaters convert the food for chicks to an oil which has a lower mass than the ingested prey. This oil is energy-rich and provides an efficient method of transporting food over large distances (e.g. from the Antarctic to Tasmania), when feeding chicks.
Diet and feeding
The diet of short-tailed shearwaters is primarily crustaceans. Around Tasmania, the shearwaters eat Nyctiphanes australis, a small (1 cm) crustacean, but in the Antarctic, shearwaters eat antarctic krill (5 cm).
The adults shearwaters return to the colonies at dark after feeding at sea during the day. This behaviour reduces the risk from land-based predators such as eagles, feral cats, possums and rats who patrol the shearwater colonies in search of food.
Short-tailed shearwaters dive to catch their food and can dive to 50 m. Most dives, however, are less than to 20 m. The birds use their wings to propel themselves through the water.
Written by Jessica Gordon
We contend that: The Treaties are nation to nation agreements between The Crown and First Nations who are sovereign nations. The Treaties are agreements that cannot be altered or broken by one side of the two Nations. The spirit and intent of the Treaty agreements meant that First Nations peoples would share the land, but retain their inherent rights to lands and resources. Instead, First Nations have experienced a history of colonization which has resulted in outstanding land claims, lack of resources and unequal funding for services such as education and housing.
We contend that: The state of Canada has become one of the wealthiest countries in the world by using the land and resources. Canadian mining, logging, oil and fishing companies are the most powerful in the world due to land and resources. Some of the poorest First Nations communities have mines or other developments on their land but do not get a share of the profit. The taking of resources has left many lands and waters poisoned – the animals and plants are dying in many areas in Canada. We cannot live without the land and water. We have laws older than this colonial government about how to live with the land.
We contend that: Currently, this government is trying to pass many laws so that reserve lands can also be bought and sold by big companies to get profit from resources. They are promising to share this time…Why would these promises be different from past promises? We will be left with nothing but poisoned water, land and air. This is an attempt to take away sovereignty and the inherent right to land and resources from First Nations peoples.
We contend that: There are many examples of other countries moving towards sustainability, and we must demand sustainable development as well. We believe in healthy, just, equitable and sustainable communities and have a vision and plan of how to build them. Please join us in creating this vision.