For Indigenous Australians, painful colonial past mars queen’s legacy

SYDNEY — When a young Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia on her first royal tour in 1954, a local authority installed hessian screens to protect the monarch’s convoy. From According to many, seeing native camps along the way Native elders.

Beginning in the mid-1800s. By 1970, nearly two decades into Elizabeth’s reign, government officials were seizing children — especially those of mixed white and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. In many cases, children were forcibly sent to boarding schools and church-run missions. For decades, however many 1 in 3 According to a report released by the Australian government, Indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families across the country. The children became known asThe Stolen Generations

The queen’s death last week highlighted the complicated relationship between the monarchy and First Nations people here. around the world. Indigenous Australians have suffered since explorer James Cook first claimed part of the continent for the British crown – then held by the Queen’s ancestor King George III – and debate continues over whether Whether or not she was responsible for past wrongs and inequities

To some, the monarchy is a lie. At the center of a troubled, often painful Account with them The colonial past.

“The Queen and her family represent the colonial system, which has wreaked havoc against First Nations people in this country.” Lydia Thorpe, a local senator with the center-left Greens said in an interview with The Washington Post. “In all the time that this Queen has been ruling our country – or so-called ruling this country – not once has this Queen tried to stop any injustices being done to First Nations people.”

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Australia is one of the few settler colonial Commonwealth countries that does not have a treaty with its First Nations people. In neighboring New Zealand, local Maori chiefs signed one with him. British Crown in 1840and Elizabeth was involved in at least one major treaty settlement, the country’s foreign minister, Nania Mahuta, recalled to parliament on Tuesday.

The Treaty, although recognized as incomplete by the Queen, established a binding relationship between the Maori people and the Crown. Later, it helped pave the way for settlements for wrongful land grabbing.

In Australia, the dark legacy of British imperialism has led to racial disparities in education, housing and incarceration rates, experts say. More than 400 Aboriginal people Died in custody since 1991, and the life expectancy of its 800,000 locals lags behind the wider population by years, official figures show.

Although some local elders remember the Queen. with love – He toured the nation 16 times, adventuring deep into the outback – others have refused to mourn.

Received by a local rugby league player. A sports ban And this week a suspended fine from Games organizers over a tweet – which has since been deleted – appeared to celebrate Elizabeth’s death. The Australian Rules Football League, meanwhile, decided not to hold a minute’s silence for the Queen during the competition’s era celebrating Indigenous players and culture as it sparked mixed emotions, the Age newspaper reported. Reported

The Indigenous population is generally younger than the wider Australian population – around 31 per cent were under the age of 15 in 2021, according to official estimates – meaning many were probably too young to miss the Queen’s last visit in 2011. could , compared to about 17 per cent of non-Indigenous Australians.

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Thorpe – who made international headlines last month when he included the word in his swearing-in ceremony “Colonial” As he pledged his loyalty to Elizabeth – he quipped that she was “probably busy doing something better” during the last royal visit.

He is among a group of Australian lawmakers calling for a treaty with First Nations peoples, followed by a republic that would replace King Charles III with an Australian as head of state. “This is how we will unite this nation,” Thorpe said.

Elizabeth’s death has sparked fresh debate in several Commonwealth circles about severing ties with the monarchy, although Australia’s leader has said he is in no rush. Solve the divisor problem. in its duration.

As Elizabeth gives way to Charles, the circle considers breaking off the relationship.

In New Zealand, where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said a republic is likely in her lifetime – she is 42 – Maori politicians also reflected on the mixed legacy of the monarchy.

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi said during a condolence hearing in Parliament on Tuesday The British Empire was built on stolen “Jab” and stolen “Taonga”. Using Maori words for land and treasure.

Mahuta, the foreign minister, who joined Charles at a meeting of Commonwealth leaders in Rwanda a few months ago, said he then pledged to modernize the Commonwealth.

“He noted that to unlock the power of our shared future, we must also acknowledge the mistakes that have shaped our past,” he told parliament. “He talked about colonialism, he talked about slavery, and he understood the challenge before him.”

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