VOICE. TREATY. TRUTH.
These are the themes for NAIDOC Week 2019.
Voice: With 2019 being the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, it is fitting to applaud and promote the Indigenous Voice of Australia, a voice that for over 65,000 years has been used to pass down lore, share knowledge and vibrantly sustain the oldest continuing culture on our planet.
Treaty: Australia is one of only a few democracies in the world that does not have a treaty or treaties or similar formal acknowledgement and arrangement in place with its Indigenous peoples. It’s now time for all Australians and our elected representatives to embrace and act on the reforms set out in the Uluru Statement from the Heart relating to Voice, Treaty and Truth.
Truth: Integral to the formation of a treaty or similar arrangement is truth-telling, a shared and honest acknowledgement and understanding of the history and colonisation of Australia’s First Peoples. As stated with incredible eloquence on the home page of the NAIDOC Week website:
Critically, treaties are inseparable from Truth.
Lasting and effective agreement cannot be achieved unless we have a shared, truthful understanding of the nature of the dispute, of the history, of how we got to where we stand.
The true story of colonisation must be told, must be heard, must be acknowledged.
But hearing this history is necessary before we can come to some true reconciliation, some genuine healing for both sides.
And of course, this is not just the history of our First Peoples – it is the history of all of us, of all of Australia, and we need to own it.
Then we can move forward together.
Enter your comments below. Share your thoughts about NAIDOC Week 2019, the themes of ‘Voice Treaty Truth’ and the ways in which you will be acknowledging and celebrating this important event.