Hey a result The referendum was clear, with 61% of Australians voting “no” in the first referendum in almost a quarter of a century, held on Saturday, to review the constitution and create a First Peoples Advisory Council, called “The Voice”, to assist the government. and Parliament on legislation and public policies affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
For some 984,000 First Nations people, who represent 3.8% of Australia’s population, October 14 was a day of disappointment. Its leaders have called for a week of silence and reflection to digest what they see as a step in the wrong direction in the process of publicly acknowledging the atrocities historically committed by European colonizers against people who actually lived in Australia.
“It has become very clear that reconciliation is dead,” Marcia Langton, one of the authors of the A Voz Project and a leader of the Yes campaign, said in a debate on NITV. “I think it will take at least two generations for Australians to forget colonial hatred and acknowledge our existence.”
In a statement reported by Reuters, indigenous leaders spoke of the “bitter irony” that “only people who have been on this continent for 235 years refuse to acknowledge those who have lived on this land for more than 60,000 years.” “.
Unlike Canada and New Zealand, for example, countries that underwent British colonialism but recognized their indigenous peoples in the constitution, Australia continues to keep its first peoples outside its Magna Carta.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has invested some of his political capital in the initiative, and a defeat for Yes is also a defeat for the government.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, quoted by the agency, stressed that this referendum was something “Australia did not need” because its only result was to divide the nation.
Aboriginal leaders have announced that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags will be flown at half-mast this week.
Lloyd Walker, a former rugby international and indigenous leader, acknowledged the path to reconciliation was more difficult, and urged the fight to continue. “We can say he lost the vote, but despite that there are still 40% who want him. “Years ago, we certainly would not have had this percentage.”
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