Edited by Gary Johns
Four Aboriginal writers are worried about proposals for Aboriginal recognition in the Constitution. Australians should read these, and the other distinguished essays in this volume, before they embark on this venture.
Anything more than a simple statement of historical fact risks the process being jeopardised by ‘blackfella politics’.
The many thousands of happy, successful Aboriginal people, who are flourishing despite the lack of constitutional recognition of culture, are surely evidence that such recognition is not needed.
The inclusion of clauses that pledge ‘respect for Aboriginal cultures, languages and heritage’ … could create conditions in which a person with a long-ago Aboriginal ancestor may … find it legally advantageous to cultivate a claim of Aboriginal identity.
Constitutional recognition is an exercise in futility. Unlike the resounding result achieved in 1967 that allowed native Australians to be counted in the Census, and to have laws made on their behalf, there is no urgency or importance attached to the present undertaking.