We continue our reporting on the Common Dreams Conference in Sydney, Australia, which included a strong commitment to the Aboriginal peoples with whom the Australian government has never had any treaty.
Below is a document delivered by the Aboriginal peoples in 2017 from the Sacred spot of Uluru, called “A Statement from the Heart.” It is slightly shortened in length from the original document. Tomorrow we will share the statement of the recent meeting in Sydney called “Common Dreams Statement.”
Why share these documents here? They both seem very fitting for our Daily Meditations whose emphasis after all is on love and justice, mysticism and spiritual warriorhood. The issue raised here regarding treatment of the oldest tribe in the world is an issue all around the globe at this time.
While America and Canada have signed many treaties with their indigenous peoples over the years, one can ask: How many of these have been honored by the government? And what of the indigenous peoples of Brazil, Indonesia, and elsewhere in the world, who are seeing their rights abolished and their sacred lands clearcut? And despite the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the United Nations remains silent.
So the questions raised here are repeated around the world.
ULURU STATEMENT FROM THE HEART
We, gathered at the 2017 National Constitutional Convention, coming from all points of the southern sky, make this 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 our ancestors did, according to the reckoning of our culture, from the Creation, according to the common law from ‘time immemorial’, and according to science more than 60,000 years ago.
This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. 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.
How could it be otherwise? That peoples possessed a land for sixty millennia and this sacred link disappears from world history in merely the last two hundred years?
With substantive constitutional change and structural reform, we believe this ancient sovereignty can shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood.
Proportionally, we are the most incarcerated people on the planet. We are not an innately criminal people. Our children are aliened from their families at unprecedented rates. This cannot be because we have no love for them. And our youth languish in detention in obscene numbers. They should be our hope for the future.
These dimensions of our crisis tell plainly the structural nature of our problem. This is the torment of our powerlessness.
We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country. We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution….
For Deeper Contemplation
Be with this statement. Treat it as a Lectio Divina which it is. Let it wash over you.
What is it saying to you?
What is it saying to your culture and to the indigenous people in it and to the shared relationship among them?
What are they saying to us all today in the name of Mother Earth?
In one of his foundational works, Fox engages in substantive discussions with some of history’s greatest mystics, philosophers, and prophets on today’s social and spiritual issues on such challenging topics as Eco-Spirituality, AIDS, homosexuality, spiritual feminism, environmental revolution, Native American spirituality, Christian mysticism, Art and Spirituality, Art as Meditation, Interspirituality, and more.
Fox makes the point that religion has so often oversold the concept of “sin” that it has left us without language or power to combat evil. Through comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them.