Australia is the only former UK colony without an indigenous treaty.

And its a national disgrace. Don’t celebrate Australia day, first make it right. Sign a treaty then scrap Australia day and replace it with Treaty day. A national holiday we could all celebrate: blackfella and whitefella.


(And before any overly sensitive US people attack me, the term blackfella is considered neutral in Australia and freely used by both indigenous and white Australians).

Rather disappointing that on Australia day, no Aussies are bothering to comment on this. Guess you’re all at the beach getting pissed. I’m not in country so its a normal work day to me.

I think no one is answering because there is no debate. I don’t know a single Aussie that would give a shit if we did away with Australia Day and called it something else at some other time that everyone could enjoy- Treaty Day on the last Monday of January say. Would still need Sam’s lamb ads and JJJ’s hottest 100 though.

A treaty with who, a bunch of unelected assholes who want to prolong the existence of Aborigine society at the expense of the people in it? That’s nothing to celebrate.

Ah we got ourselves a true Aussie yobbo I see. No a treaty with whats left of the aboriginal mobs after the 150 years of genocide decimated them. Their elders are elected in most cases and if they want to prolong their society or integrate is their choice to make, not ours.

And Don’t Ask, its not just about renaming Australia day but an actual treaty that would clearly define Aboriginal Sovereignty. Just like various indigenous groups have in New Zealand, the US, Canada and every other former UK colony.

At least your forefathers were honest, or your aboriginals much less a force in the old days. I was always of the mind that Canadian Native treaties were signed with no intention of abiding them, just to placate. Now of course, Courts are getting involved and it’s a bit of a mess land rights wise and we’ve got a bunch of people living in cmpletely untenable communities.

Do yourself a favour. Don’t sign some treaty. Just come up with honest, fair and workable policies and/or legislation.

Yothu Yindi said it well 25 years ago. Nothing much has changed since then.

I’m not weighing in directly on the debate, but it’s hardly conducive to having an actual debate as you plea for in your second post, when your first reaction to a dissenting opinion is a personal attack.

And, can I just ask where in Australia do you live? Because AFAIC ‘blackfella’ hasn’t been an acceptable term for a white Aussie to use in a long time. (I’m not an overly sensitive American FYI, but a born and bred Aussie.)

As to your original point, I’m kind of meh on it. I believe I espouse the typical Aussie attitude in that regard. Despite the aboriginal agenda of attempting to label it ‘invasion day’ I doubt your typical person thinks deeply enough about it to consider what it represents, beyond it being a day off and a bit of nationalistic chest thumping. In fact I’d be all for changing the day if for no other reason than to try and avoid the increasingly jingoistic approach so many are taking. [EG the Cronulla riots a few years back]

I’m curious as to what you think any prospective indigenous treaty would be covering exactly? There are already formal land right processes in place post-Mabo, There is a federal department and a ministerial portfolio to provide oversight and assistance to the indigenous populations. I know conditions in the traditional settlements are sub standard, but how is a treaty going to address that?

I think the only consensus you would find would be that any new day needs to be moved into the back half of the year - got to spread those public holidays around a bit more! :smiley:

Sorry, this is hijacky…but is it not? I’m not going to take sides with any of this, being a Yank and not having a finger on the Oz pulse*. But Wikipedia still claims it to be considered a neutral term. Is it used in the media at all?

(*I do, however, watch Masterchef Australia religiously, so am clearly qualified to discuss any manner of important Australian issues, like barramundi and Tim-Tams.)

Way ahead of you.

If you read the article I linked in my first post, the main difference is a treaty would actually acknowledge aboriginal sovereignty and define what areas of law are covered under that and what areas are federal. Thats exactly the same situation as the US and Canada has where various first nations exist within the US and Canada. The current governments “reconciliation” is pretty much just throwing a few grants at Aboriginal people while keeping them firmly under the control of State and Federal governments.

Ok, so a quick Google tells me their are about 16 large Aboriginal groups, your article puts forth that they should each put forth a spokesman and then negotiate. Would each group get a chunk of land close to their traditional home? Would each regional group have the authority of a State over that area, or maybe more autonomy than that? What would be the status of non-aboriginals on that land? eg could they keep their property or vote?

All those details would have to be hammered out and negotiated but its not an impossible problem since as I’ve said the US and Canada do just fine with sovereign first nations existing inside them. The reason there is so much resistance to it from Australian governments both Liberal and Labour is that as part of the negotiations Aboriginal first nations would end up with a larger share of mineral rights payouts than they do now, or they might have complete veto rights on mining on their lands. The mining lobby in Australia (which has both political parties in its pocket) is obviously not too keen to have that happen.

I’m not seeing how the US, as one of the former colonies that supposedly has a treaty or treaties, is any better since we famously didn’t keep pretty much any of them.

Then I guess you’re not familiar with the current status of most aboriginal communities in Australia which is pretty appalling. In the US as it stands now various tribal groups have limited sovereignty and are taking advantage of that for things like casinos and cigarette taxes or mining rights. It would be fair to say those members of registered Indian sovereign nations in the US are far better off than the vast majority of Australian aboriginals.

First of all, “just fine” is an odd way to describe it. The last decade or so has seen a lot of court battles to hammer out who owns/gets a percentage of a lot of stuff. And while some native lands are doing ok, plenty of them are basically 3rd world level shitholes. And many simply can’t be fixed without pouring in millions of Federal dollars each, and for what? To maintain a town that has zero ability to maintain a population. Corrupt local governments (“The Chief’s driveway is always paved” is a little native Canadian saying).

And then there’s the philisophical problem of setting up a separate mini-state based solely on race. Who is the “real” native that gets to vote and own property on the reserve? Local tribes get to decide, if you are Native man and marry a non-native you get to stay, Native woman and marry a white man maybe not.

Like it or not, aboriginals are Australians. Don’t set up a separate government and make a treaty. Just try to do right by them.

Eta: oh yeah cigarettes. Reserves straddling/bordering the US-Canada border is an awesome place for cigarette smuggling trades. Quite a boon to the community.

Having a treaty doesn’t mean squat if you don’t keep to its terms. We (the US) has almost never done so when Native Americans were involved. Moral of the story: The way your country treats the aboriginal inhabitants is not dependent on a treaty. Native Americans are ranked well below whites across the board in health and well being indicators.

Explicitly that is not what most of them want. They don’t want to be Australians, they want their own identity first. I can certainly respect that, the Wiradjuri mob have been around far longer than the government of Australia. Who are we to come along and impose our 200 year old national identity on them?

“We” were the guys with the guns. I would oppose it happening NOW but I can’t justify turning back the clock.