Today is a day of celebration officially for many in Australia. But for many others, the First Nations peoples of Australia, it is a day of mourning. It is Invasion Day or Survival Day.
There are many reasons to celebrate Australia and many things to defend about Australia. Buttoday is the wrong date to do so, because by celebrating today we discount the experiences of First Nations’ peoples.
See here for a map of Australian First Nations’ language/cultural groupings.
Below is a statement I adapted from a website which is encouraging people to use their social media to support First Nations’ peoples on this day. (I couldn’t post it to Facebook through their link because my additions made it longer than 420 characters.)
Today, on January 26th, I acknowledge the Aboriginal peoples who are the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which I live and study, the Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri peoples. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and future, and acknowledge Aboriginal peoples are hurting and mourning on this day. I also acknowledge that Aboriginal peoples have a strong spirit of survival, having survived for over 60,000 years. Their sovereignty has never been ceded. Always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.
Add your acknowledgements here: http://www.commongrace.org.au/jan26_share