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tv   Reclaiming the Rock  BBC News  July 14, 2018 1:30pm-2:01pm BST

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northern ireland, anne western scotland. never really making much ofan scotland. never really making much of an impression across eastern scotla nd of an impression across eastern scotland and into the borders on sunday. further south, warmer still, light winds, even the east coast, with that breeze, we see temperatures into the high 20s. the perfect afternoon heading towards the coast. that weather front will slip south and east, no significant rainfor slip south and east, no significant rain for the gardens, they are starting to get desperate now. it would introduce more in the way of cloud, and will introduce slightly fresher conditions. if it's too hard at the moment, by tuesday we see those temperatures into the low 20s. take care. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines: president trump is in scotland to wind down and play golf after completing his two day working trip to the uk. further protests against
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the presidents visit take place across scotland — we'll bring you the latest. an explosive device has been thrown at the former sinn f in leader gerry adams‘ house in west belfast — nobody was hurt in the attack. a large scale investigation continues in wiltshire after police identify the source of the nerve agent novichok — it was found in side the house of one of the victims. tourists from all over the world visit uluru every year, but for decades there has been a dispute over the controversial practice of climbing the rock — which is a sacred place for australia's indigenous an—angu people. from the end of 2019 the chain that makes the climb possible will finally be removed. as rebecca henschke reports, it is a vital step for the anangu people in reclaiming the rock. it's considered one of the great natural wonders of the world. and is a deeply sacred
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place for australia's indigenous anangu people. one of the oldest civilisations on earth. uluru, also known as ayers rock, a sandstone monolith in the heart of northern territory ‘s red centre, dates back more than 500 million years. tourists from all over the world visit the site every year. for decades, there's been a bitter row over the controversial practice of climbing the rock. have you guys heard that the aboriginal people don't want people to climb? yes, i do. and i understand that. but i'm going to do it anyway. there are signs here at the base of the climb clearly saying,
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please don't climb. it's against traditional law. translated into six languages, but still every day we've been here there has been a steady stream of climbers. indigenous communities have long campaigned for the behaviour which they consider deeply offensive to end. now, the time for talking is over. from november next year, the climb will close. i'm here in the spiritual heart of australia where i was born to find out why it's taken so long and how the anangu people feel about the multi—million dollar tourism operation that's been built around their sacred site. uluru is steeped in ancient stories about the creation time. the anangu people believe that
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in the beginning, the world was unformed and featureless. from this void, ancestral beings emerged and travelled across the land, creating all living species. uluru is the physical evidence of feats performed during the creation period. they have walked this land for over 50,000 years. the anangu believe they are the direct descendants of the ancestral beings that created uluru and are responsible for the protection of these ancestral lands. pamela taylor is one of the rock's traditional owners, a painter and holder of the sacred stories enshrined in it. what would happen?
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individual stories passed down orally as precious inheritance to families. some shared with outsiders like me in the hope that they will understand their significance. pamela's family holds the story of lungkata, a greedy and dishonest blue—tongue lizard ancestral being who came to uluru from the north and stole meat from an emu and went back up to his cave. the foundation of anangu life and society is known as tjukurpa, a huge word that encompasses many things. it's religion and culture, but it's also law, with clear punishments for breaking it, explains auntie alison, another western desert elder. and through that process
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of listening to your elders, hearing the stories, do you get a sense of what is right and what is wrong? these creation stories are the anangu's spiritual compass. they say the caves, marks and rock formations all live and breathe with them.
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senior traditional owner sammy wilson's family holds the story of kuniya, the python woman at uluru. sammy tells me that she fought liru, the poisonous snake here at uluru, and signs of their ferocious battle are all around this water hole. for ii—year—old tilly, going to uluru and into the caves where there are rock art tens of thousands of years old, is a deeply spiritual experience. i feel like my nana was right beside me, and my grandpa, my great great grandpa. i felt sad because it was a very long time ago. when he passed, when he did that painting. is that place a very special place for you? yeah, because we are not really allowed to go in the rock because we will get sick and on that rock, when you step on the rock, you will get sick because you are
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stepping on your dreaming. stepping on the dreaming is what hundreds of thousands of tourists around the world have done. including princess diana and prince charles, when they visited. the indigenous owners have asked us not to show footage of the climb, which is why we are not doing it. when the first known white australian explorers came to the area in 1873, they named the rock ayers rock, after the premiere of south australia, henry ayers. ayers arrived in australia with his wife ann potts from england in 1840, he gained wealth and power through mining before entering politics.
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over the next three decades in parliament, he exercised significant influence over the shaping of modern australia. this is the goal: ayers rock looms up like a giant mound from ten miles away... by the 1950s, increasing numbers of nonindigenous australians were flocking to ayers rock. the radio mast goes up to confound the spirits of the primitive men who made the rock for an ages the focal point of the and ceremony. and the anangu people were displaced. they might not look it but they are nearly civilised. then to climb the rock itself, no easy task as the climbs steepen to an angle of 60 degrees. the surface is flaky and treacherous. the big climb became the white
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australian's sacred duty. it's almost like a rite of passage. they have heard from their parents and often their parents' parents that you have to come out here and climb. australians like to conquer things and i think that is probably one of the reasons, but it's notjust australians, we get lots of europeans and people from asia that do want to climb. many of the climbers i meet at the base of the rock have come to do it before it closes. it's always been my dream and ifinally made it. yeah, i like to do challenges. i will see how far we get in the morning. have you guys heard that the aboriginal people don't want people to climb? yes, i do. and i understand that but i'm going to do it anyway. yeah. because this will be the last chance, because it closes off next year and next year i will be too old. so you don't feel at all uneasy about that, they say this is like a sacred site for them, like climbing notre dame
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or a sacred church? i hadn't thought of that aspect of it. no, me neither. i think we need to work with them and understand their culture and things like that. in years to come, they might change their minds and say all right, let's open it again. or they might open it for a certain period of a time each year or something like that. i came here with some girlfriends specifically to climb it before they closed it, we just wanted to get the full experience of uluru. and you know why the climb is closing, don't you? that the anangu people don't like it, they feel like it's trampling on one of their sacred sites, did you not feel at all bad doing it? idid. i did, and after climbing it, i'm glad that i climbed it and had the opportunity to climb it but i respect is why they don't want people to climb it. it's very sacred and very important to them.
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so when you were climbing, you didn't feel at all bad? idid. there were parts of me that did. but the experience of wanting to get the full experience of a rock, i... isuppose... pushed that aside, too... i don't know, get the overall experience of it. it wasn't until 1985 that the anangu people, after being recognised as traditional owners, were presented with the freehold title deeds for the uluru national park area. an event known as the hand back. 2000 invited guests were there to enjoy a happy occasion, and it was. just before sunset, they handed over the title to uluru national park, 1300 square kilometres of land including ayers rock and mount 0lga. in 2011, the indigenous land council
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bought the ayers rock resort with a promise to employ and train aboriginal people for jobs in tourism sector. as well as being blown away by the natural beauty of this area, equally impressive is the tourism machine that's been built around it, buses bringing in hundreds of people each day into this very isolated area, 300,000 visiting each year. bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars into the australian economy. the threat of losing the tourist dollar and the push to close was enormous pressure for the indigenous owners. and talk they did, in an historic vote, the board of 12 people
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including eight anangu elders decided to shut the climb—down last year. i was there that day, there were tears in people's eyes. notjust anangu, but from staff who have been here for many years. everyone was so excited that finally the decision had been heard. why did it take so long? well, anangu are very mindful, particularly for tourism, that there are many people who do want to climb uluru and that's why you have the lead time of two years for the decision to be implemented. they have done things the right way, there's been lots of consultation and the ministry is fully supportive of the decision. sammy wilson has set up his own tourism company to try and get some of those visitors to see the land through their eyes. he is referring to the 35
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people who have died attempting to climb uluru. we actually say to people, it's the equivalent of you clambering over notre dame. once you explain it that way, people are horrified and they realise, but if you say it's culturally significant and it's really important to traditional owners, that doesn't resonate. when we explain what you have done is sacrilege, they are taken aback and they understand. later in the day, pamela, who was planning to climb uluru in the morning, catches up with me at a different part of the rock and she's very keen to talk again. my true reason for climbing is my ego, because i've just turned 70, i've got two replacement knees
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and i want to see if i could challenge myself to get as far as i can. and you've been thinking about that since we saw you last? i have been thinking about it since i saw you. yes. it's the ego? it's the ego, definitely. almost 200 years since the british invasion, australia remains the only commonwealth country to have never signed a treaty with its indigenous people. last year, around 300 indigenous leaders came together at uluru, demanding real legal and political recognition and power, as the first nation people of australia. it is important to us. it is important. governments and people should respect and recognise that. we are the first people of the land. i grew up on anangu land in an area
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european settlers called new england, because of its cool climate and rolling hills which reminded them of home. where is the ham? but my family on my father's side were amongst the first set this were amongst the first settlers to come from europe to south australia. while i was working on this story, i realised i had a much closer connection to uluru, or ayers rock, then i had realised. with the arrogance of invaders and the ignorance of outsiders, they gave the rock the name ayers rock after my great, great,
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great uncle, henry ayers, who was the senior politician in australia at the time. a connection i have only recently realised, and i'm not sure how i feel about it. i spent the day thinking about this connection, after years living away from australia, this trip has made me realise how dislocated nonindigenous australians are to the stories of the land we live in. i tell sammy that henry ayers is my great, great, great, great uncle. the person that, the first white person to come here named this rock after. something i feel a little uncomfortable about. i want to say sorry for the disrespectful way and brutal way that families like mine treated aboriginal people in the past. his reaction surprises me.
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he's excited because he says his great, great grandfather met explorer william goss. what did they talk about? later that afternoon, i tell alison. with alison's language skills, she works as a bridge between the elders, the government and the tourism operators. today, she is dancing in a welcome
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ceremony for visitors here for a cultural festival. on stage is tilly, with her all—female schoolgirls drumming group. it's an event that showcases indigenous culture from across australia, for a mixed audience. renowned australian indigenous country music singer troy cassar—daley is a regular performer. what it does is bring people from the outside and helps immerse them in some cultural things they will never see in sydney, black and white people should all come here and carry this bit of the spirit home. touch your foot over their near uluru and take a bit of that feeling with you, it's not hard to feel it,
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it's a great place. and then as night falls, a new way of stories being told is revealed. indigenous australian fashion brands using material with the paintings that tell the ancient stories of the creation time. led by australia's leading indigenous model. indigenous art work is on canvas and things like that but it's really great that now it's being put into fashion, it also has lots of meaning behind it, there is a story behind it, it's notjust a normal dress you would buy in a shop. it's special. elder auntie alison who helped organise this festival says she wants to see more of this kind of tourism at uluru. the sharing of stories rather than conquering the rock. do you think there is enough of this kind of talking?
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the sharing of our shared australian history in order to heal and create a new, more inclusive, modern narrative on this ancient land. a favoured few were lucky enough to
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have some sharp showers bringing welcome rain for the gardens yesterday, but that won't really be the case today for many of us. yesterday, but that won't really be the case today for many of usm looks dry, settled and sunny, in fa ct looks dry, settled and sunny, in fact it will feel quite hot across central and southern areas of england and wales. there one exception to the role and that's the weather front in the north—west which will bring some showery outbreaks of rain across the western isles and northern ireland but it will take take its time. high pressure still in the driving seat, still a good deal of dry, settled and hot weather. an outside risk of and hot weather. an outside risk of an isolated shower east anglia later in the afternoon. cloud will gather, outbreaks of rain in eastern —— western scotland, but it should stay
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dry in eastern scotland. mid to high 20s here behind that weather front, 16 to 23 degrees the high in scotla nd 16 to 23 degrees the high in scotland and northern ireland. if you are lucky enough to have centre court tickets at wimbledon this afternoon, the weather is certainly not going to disappoint, you will need your sun hat and sunscreen. if we get 30 degrees for the men's final tomorrow, it will be the warmest one for 20 years. before that, a sultry night to get through across england and wales, temperatures not falling far. mid—teens widely, so an uncomfortable night for getting a good night's sleep. further west, outbreaks of like showery rain into northern ireland, western scotland and gradually drifting eastwards. never making much of an impression crossed eastern scotland and down into the borders on sunday but again a slightly fresher and breezy feel. further south, warmer, very light winds and even along the east coast with the breeze coming from inland we will see temperatures into the
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high 20s, a perfect afternoon for heading to the coast. that weather front will go south but it will not bring any significant rain for the gardens starting to really get quite desperate now. it will introduce more in the way of cloud and it will introduce slightly fresher conditions, so if it's too hot for you at the moment, by tuesday onwards we will see those temperatures perhaps into the low 20s. this is bbc news. i'm ros atkins in turnberry on the penultimate day of the us president's uk visit. he is visiting his golf resort and in the middle of a round of golf. we don't know how he is scoring but he has been booed by protesters, who got close enough to make themselves heard. i saw the president in his golf buggy a few moments ago with a security entourage. there are hundreds of police around the golf
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course, but protesters are making themselves heard. not only in turnberry on the west coast of scotland, we've also seen protests in edinburgh, and protests are also planned in glasgow. i'm chris rogers, with the other main stories on bbc news. investigations continue in wiltshire after a bottle containing novichok is found at the home of charlie rowley, one of the victims poisoned by the nerve agent.
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