"The reason why we created the political party is because we don't have a voice," the aboriginal activist said. "There are around 27 political parties, and none of them represent the interest of Aboriginal people."
Ryan accused Australia's two major political parties of "racism at its highest levels." In 2007, the government cracked down on remote aboriginal communities to restore social order. They quarantined welfare checks, banned alcohol, and imposed other restrictions. This so-called intervention has been condemned as racist by the United Nations.
"They (Aboriginal people) are like prisoners in remote communities," said Ryan.
Besides focusing on issues unique to Aboriginals, Ryan hopes First Nations will also offer a real alternative on more mainstream issues.
It's believed that more that 1,000,000 Aboriginals were living in Australia when whites settled there in 1788. Today, only 470,000 remain in a country of 22,000,000 people. Aboriginals suffer far higher rates of disease, imprisonment and unemployment. A man's life expectancy is 11.5 years shorter than non-Aboriginals, while Aboriginal women die 9.7 years sooner.
Three years ago, prime minister Kevin Rudd apologized to Aborigines for wrongs committed against them since European invasion. His successor, Julia Gillard, has announced a referendum on constitutional recognition for the country's native people.