15 April 2015
[re article in The Australian (link is external) 14 April 2015]
Ghillar, Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union, Head of State of the Euahlayi Republic and co-founder of the 1972 Aboriginal Embassy said from Uluru today:
The ‘Recognise’ proposal that is being floated now re constitutional recognition is an attempt to outrightly steal the Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders’ sovereignty and patrimony without the truth being told.
I have said it once, I have said it many times and I will say it again: The Commonwealth government of Australia does not have the constitutional right to pass laws for the Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders of this country, as though we are citizens.
As the Recognise campaign sweeps across the nation and builds momentum leading up to the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, some questions remain unasked and unanswered. What benefits will come from a change to the constitution? Will constitutional recognition negate a treaty or Indigenous sovereignty? Who is championing the cause — for and against? Are these constitutional changes driven and supported by the community of Indigenous Australians or are they merely to serve a deeper political agenda?
Listen to Bogaine ‘Boe’ Spearim share why he is anti-recognise, and how he came to that conclusion.
Boe was born in Blacktown, NSW and spent most of his childhood growing up in Western Sydney before relocating to Brisbane, where his father taught him about identity through dance, song and connection to his Gamilaraay country.
Since moving back to Brisbane, Boe has become heavily involved with the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy (BASE), which has deepened his understanding of the issues Indigenous Australians face today and ignited a desire to speak out about these struggles.
Boe spoke at the Queensland State Library and this video was made by them.
Many Indigenous people are just going along with the constitutional recognition movement because they feel they have no choice, an academic says.
Megan Davis, the director of the Indigenous Law Centre at the University of NSW, said: “there is an increasing position that anything is better than nothing”, and that Indigenous people are being left out of the debate.
In a keynote speech to the biennial National Rural Health Conference in Darwin on Monday, she said Indigenous people are concerned that a referendum, to be held in 2017, will result only in symbolic recognition without any real constitutional power.
New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia have already recognised indigenous people in their state constitutions and the Federal Parliament passed the Act of Recognition in 2013. Not a single benefit to anyone has flowed from those measures, writes Michael Mansell, a Lawyer and First Nations Activist from Tasmania.
Reasons why I DO NOT want to be recognised in their Constitution.
1) Since the conversation has ignited around constitutional recognition and doing some individual research surrounding this debate and I have noticed that constitutional recognition does not give us as First Nations People’s any rights to our Lands and Water. Something that a TREATY and Bill Of Rights will.
2) Historically, we have NEVER campaigned for Constitutional Recognition. We have always campaigned for a TREATY and have our SOVEREIGNTY recognised by mainstream Australia.
3) The Recognise campaign profits from the mining industry, the same industry that destroys our sacred lands and waters. The same industry that destroys our culture and caused friction between our people.
4) In order for Aboriginal organisations to receive commonwealth funding under the new Indigenous Advancement Strategy to deliver programs and keep organisations running, THEY HAVE TO SUPPORT THR RECOGNISE CAMPAIGN OR THEY MISS OUT! That is not ethical at all.
5) They want to remove section 25 that discriminates against people from voting based on their race. After some research I have seen that Section 25 has NEVER been used and will only make the Prime Minister and his party look good.
6) The recognise campaign HAS NOT acknowledged nor commented the current issues affecting our communities, Such as the recent Forced Closures of Aboriginal Communities in WA/SA. They want to recognise us in their constitution but want to close our communities down, especially where Aboriginal languages are strong.
With the rallies/protests for Aboriginal rights displayed the past few months between Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal people. NOW is the time to open up the conversation again about TREATY and SOVEREIGNTY!