Perspectives on Reconciliation & Indigenous Rights
In the changing political context in Australia today this paper revisits the debates on reconciliation, and endeavours to locate the movement solidly within a human rights framework that includes first nation rights. This requires an examination of the roots of the reconciliation movement including community attitudes to reconciliation and the nature of the peoples’ movement as well as the differing perspectives of policy makers, politicians and of course, Indigenous peoples. It asks crucial questions about the progress of reconciliation and the type of reconciliation mainstream Australians will accept. In truth therefore, was the ‘National Apology’ a grand symbolic gesture by mainstream Australia to maintain the status quo and divert our eyes from the more searching questions of the ‘unfinished business’ of ‘substantive’ reconciliation which encompasses first nations rights for Indigenous peoples.
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