Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australian Catholic Aboriginal leaders call for a TREATY NOW

text TreatyAustralia is the only country in the English-speaking world that does not have a Treaty with its First Peoples. The USA, Canada, New Zealand and many other countries have treaties with their First Peoples, recognising their rights and prior occupation of their lands. We can be part of this.

It was made clear during community consultations that many Victorian Aboriginal peoples do not want to be recognised in the Constitution, as it will be more of the same lip service we have endured for decades, like many of the promises made to us in the past that changed nothing.

Catholic Aboriginal leaders in Victoria call for a Treaty http://melbournecatholic.org.au/News/catholic-aboriginal-leaders-in-victoria-call-for-a-treaty 28 June 2016 Sherry Balcombe, Coordinator, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry

 In 1986 in Alice Springs Pope St John Paul II gave the most dramatic recognition by the Church in Australia to Aboriginal people. He challenged the Aboriginal people to find their rightful place in the Australian Church. Following that speech, the Aboriginal Catholic people around Australia felt new life and inspiration.

We at the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria have been greatly supported by the Archdiocese of Melbourne and we acknowledge this support and are grateful for helping us make our voice heard. It takes courage to step across the cultural abyss, so many thanks to the Archdiocese.

I feel that it was a personal challenge to me, and continues to be, to find our rightful place; we are constantly challenged to justify ourselves.

For far too long governments, authorities and the Church have tried to do things for Aboriginal people. Our wish is to do things for ourselves. With your support, encouragement and collaboration we can make this a brighter, prouder and more inclusive chapter in Australia’s shared history.

Although dominant cultures in Australia see us as the victims and problems, we know and see our great warriors: people running organisations, bringing up families and educating the wider communities on the deep, meaningful contributions that we can make to the life of this great country.

We have the chance right now to move forward the right and proper way by working with Aboriginal people towards the common goal of a Treaty. Our people have struggled on the fringes of society for far too long.

For the first time in this nation’s history, Aboriginal people have true hope, a hope that has never been afforded to us before, to emulate our brothers and sisters from around the globe where their countries have heard their cries.

We all know in our hearts that a Treaty is the right and merciful thing to do.

We are about to change the tapestry of this nation for all time and we as Aboriginal people have started the process. We are not only changing a nation; we are rebuilding it to suit our new diverse cultural shape, something that all Australians can be truly proud of.

Australia is the only country in the English-speaking world that does not have a Treaty with its First Peoples. The USA, Canada, New Zealand and many other countries have treaties with their First Peoples, recognising their rights and prior occupation of their lands. We can be part of this.

It was made clear during community consultations that many Victorian Aboriginal peoples do not want to be recognised in the Constitution, as it will be more of the same lip service we have endured for decades, like many of the promises made to us in the past that changed nothing.

We want true recognition and having a Treaty will give us the dignity, self-determination, respect and pride that so rightly belongs to us but has been denied us since colonisation.

We all want our descendants to look back with pride that our generation:

  • appreciated and acknowledged that we live in the country where the longest continuous culture in the world still lives and thrives
  • gratefully and mercifully worked with our First Peoples for the rights of their ancestors and their descendants.

We hope you all agree that there must be a better way.

Please walk with us on this journey. It is not going to be easy but anything worthwhile is never easy. With your help, support and encouragement we can do this: TREATY NOW!

Get on board, be part of the solution not part of the problem, look for ways you can join in. This is an important start to those conversations.

Co-edited by Fr Bruce Duncan and Bishop Hilton Deakin. Contributed quotes from Richard Frankland.  

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July 10, 2016 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL

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