Australia: When Recognition Means the End for the Indigenous
By Hwaa Irfan
One wondered how the Earth Keepers, the indigenous would fit into the New World order of global governance, which seeks t silence any form of consciousness raising that is constitutes to their mentality a perceived threat to their dominance and control of the world’s natural resources.
Australia Day January 26 was a day of mourning for the First Peoples. As the Idle No More movement gains momentum in Canada, and across indigenous communities, the yearned for recognition that the indigenous peoples of Australia have sought for hundreds of years, is about to materialize in a form that could be their end.
That is about to take place tomorrow, in the form of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill 2012, which supported by Oxfam as an:
“…an opportunity to build on the political consensus towards a referendum in the next term of government, Oxfam Australia said. . .”
Oxfam Australia’s Indigenous Rights Policy Advisor Andrew Meehan states:
“This Bill is an important step forward on Australia’s journey towards recognising the special place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our nation’s founding document,”
The trouble is the indigenous of Australia do not want anything to do with the Bill.
On February 7 the Australian Senate will vote on a Bill that moves towards constitutional inclusion of the majority of Aboriginal peoples
“This shows the paternalistic contempt that the Federal Government and politicians have for Aboriginal people has not changed in 112 years,” said Kooma man, Wayne Wharton, of the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy.
“The people have already spoken – we do not want to be included in the coloniser’s constitution that is not going to change no matter how many millions they pay the sell-out Bennelongs. This Bill is an empty, tokenistic distraction from the real issue, the real discussion about sovereignty, that needs to be addressed between First Nations peoples and others who now call this continent home,” Wharton explained.
To ensure compliance the Australian government apparently spent millions normally referred to as bribery) buying consensus through organisations like the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples and You Me Unity. Ignoring the years of suffering that these people have endured applying many forms of eugenics, to every community that attempts were made to convince the indigenous peoples, the impending referendum was rejected.
Article 3 states:
(1) The Parliament, on behalf of the people of Australia, recognises that the continent and the islands now known as Australia were first occupied by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
(2) The Parliament, on behalf of the people of Australia, acknowledges the continuing relationship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with their traditional lands and waters.
(3) The Parliament, on behalf of the people of Australia, acknowledges and respects the continuing cultures, languages and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Sounds good doesn’t it, but in context it comes as the government tries to silence the indigenous entity, the Brisbane Sovereign Embassy, whichhas been raising awareness of Aboriginal people’s rights to Sovereignty possession and occupation and enjoyment of the lands and waters.
The Brisbane Sovereign Embassy, a temporary set-up in the form of a tent was established in March 2012. By December 2012, attempts to remove it were made by police who arrested Indigenous activists.
That which pertains to the indigenous under the current Australian Constitution are laws that only perpetuates the status quo. Essentially, the Constitution would have to be re-written with the full participation of the First Peoples otherwise, the Catholic Doctrine of Discovery under Terra Nullius remains in place thus maintaining the sovereignty of the British Crown over the land. This is evident in a recent attempt to explore New South Wales for uranium and coal without consultation, which was met by protests from members of local Aboriginal Land Councils.
Terra Nullius means the ‘land that belongs to no-one’. In 1770 Captain James Cook landed in Botany Bay, home of the Eora people, and claimed possession of the East Coast of Australia for Britain under the doctrine of Terra Nullius. It is taught at KG level of education under Terra Nullius? The Very Early Years as different ways of king at history.
Under the 18th century international law of Europe it meant Britain could claim and settle that country if:
– The country was uninhabited, Britain could claim and settle that country. In this case, it could claim ownership of the land.
– The country was already inhabited, Britain could ask for permission from the indigenous people to use some of their land. In this case, Britain could purchase land for its own use but it could not steal the land of the indigenous people.
– The country was inhabited; Britain could take over the country by invasion, but would have to respect the rights of indigenous people.
Obviously, that was never adhered to when Britain colonized Australia in 1788 with an estimated 300,000-750,000 First Nation people living on the land. However tied to the Doctrine of Discovery, a people are not considered a people unless they are Christians – talk about creating a loophole!
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill 2012 may be a genuine attempt to put the records straight, but a great paradigm shift is required on the part of the benefactors, before they realize that the deal was not theirs to make in the first place!
Hutchinson, M “Cops Smash Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy” http://www.sa.org.au/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=7605:cops-smash-brisbane-aboriginal-sovereign-embassy&Itemid=454
Oxfam Australia Media “Referendum step closer with introduction of Recognition Bill” https://www.oxfam.org.au/media/2012/11/referendum-step-closer-with-introduction-of-recognition-bill/
Sovereign Embassy Brisbane “Statement” http://nationalunitygovernment.org/content/sovereign-embassy-brisbane