IT'S TIME FOR TRUTH.
IT'S TIME FOR TREATY.
It’s time to tell the truth in this country.
The violence that started with colonisation continues today with First Nations communities experiencing high rates of imprisonment, deaths in custody, removal of children from their families, and the destruction of land, water and sacred sites.
First Nations people have never ceded Sovereignty. Treaty is how we move forward, together.
This is how we protect First Nations people and allow this country to heal.
First Nations people have been fighting for Treaties for decades. It’s what Elders have marched for, it's been on banners at protests. Australia is one of the only Commonwealth countries without a Treaty with First Nations people.
We cannot change the past, but we can build a better future
Treaty was promised by Bob Hawke’s Labor government in the 80s and it’s still unfinished business today.
We have an opportunity to do things differently in this country by starting a Truth and Treaty process now.
What is a Treaty?
Treaty is a formal agreement between First Nations people and the Commonwealth Government that acknowledges First Nations sovereignty, protects rights and sets the underlying terms for First Nations people to negotiate with the Government moving forward.
Treaty will set the standard for how First Nations knowledge, culture and communities can thrive.
It outlines the principles and sets the baseline for how we work together moving forward.
Treaty is also an opportunity for everyone in this country to celebrate what unites us and tell the story of who we are as a country. It’s a way to own up to our past and be proud of our future.
Treaties must include First Nations people and Governments committing to responsibilities, promises and principles that bind the parties in an ongoing relationship of mutual obligation and shared responsibility; a Treaty is built on the recognition of Indigenous peoples’ inherent sovereignty, which has never been ceded.
As was written in the Uluru Statement from the Heart: “Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tribes were the first sovereign Nations of the Australian continent and its adjacent islands, and possessed it under our own laws and customs.… This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.”
Action on Truth & Treaty
Now is the time to show some ambition.There’s broad community support for change – we can use this moment and momentum to make a tangible difference in the lives of First Nations people.
Labor governments have already started the Truth and Treaty process at the State and Territory level – there is no reason we can’t do it at a national level.
The Greens are calling on Labor to:
- Progress Truth and Treaty at the same time as Voice, by taking action towards:
- A Treaty Commission with a self-determined grassroots consultation process in this term of parliament
- A Truth & Justice Commission to support local truth telling processes
- Enact the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, to protect the right to free, prior and informed consent and ensure that human rights are the foundation for all First Nations policy
- Act on deaths in custody, by implementing all recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
- Bring justice to members of the Stolen Generations and stop forced child removals by implementing the recommendations from the Bringing Them Home report
- Raise the age and keep kids out of prison
- Make medicare available in prisons
- Ensure that any interim actions by Government do not undermine future Treaty making and Sovereignty
This will take all of us
The Greens acknowledge the many First Nations Elders and activists across this country who have stayed strong and resilient in the fight for generations. You have led a national conversation this year that will change this country’s future for the better.
This is a fight for our future. First Nations people have waited long enough for Truth & Treaty. Without it there will be no justice. And there will be no peace for First Nations people.
It’s going to take all of us, showing up, speaking up and demanding Truth & Treaty.