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Indigenous Australians - Essay Example

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As such, this paper seeks to discuss and evaluate some of the arguments raised in different articles. The paper will also outline the prospects of success of this kind of…
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Indigenous Australians
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A close reading of the articles given present various arguments for indigenous constitutional recognition. As such, this paper seeks to discuss and evaluate some of the arguments raised in different articles. The paper will also outline the prospects of success of this kind of constitutional recognition with regards to the case of Australian indigenous people.
First and foremost, it can be observed that the Report of the Expert Panel (2012), suggest that the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the first people to live in Australia but they were apparently excluded from the deliberations that led to the adoption of the Constitution. The constitution grants the rights to all citizens and it is designed to ensure that that equality and equity prevail among all citizens regardless of race disparities. However, it has been realised that the indigenous Australians have been sidelined in the country’s constitution on the basis of racial bias. As such, it has been realized that there is need to achieve full inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Constitution. This can be done through removing the notions of racial bias towards the indigenous people while at the same time recognising their heritage, culture as well as language.
On the other hand, it can be noted that Langton (2008) states that people are still disillusioned by the widely held perceptions they have about the aborigines who are often viewed as backward and primitive. In many people’s minds, the indigenous Australians are not equal to other people as a result of their backwardness. Constitutionally, the indigenous people have often been viewed as second class citizens while they are the original people in Australia. This view is also supported by Behrendt (2010) who argues that the constitutional gap between haves and have notes (Indigenous people) is wide hence concerted measures should be taken in order to bridge it. This is mainly as a result of inequality that was created when the Australian constitution was adopted.
Poverty is high in reservations which are often home to indigenous people since they are structured in such a way that discourages investment. As noted by Kristof (2012), the level of poverty in reservations like the sprawling Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is high and this can be attributed to factors such as lack of education and alcohol abuse and dysfunctional families. This situation is also resembles the case of indigenous Australians, the aborigines who for a long period of time have been deprived of their constitutional right to enjoy quality life that is characterised by growth with equality. Indigenous people in reservations are often victims of inequality and they are neglected by the elite people who are in control of the means of production.
There are positive steps that have been taken in order to rectify the issue of indigenous Constitutional recognition. For instance, the Report of the Expert Panel (2012) has noted that some sections in the constitution that are racially biased should be repealed while inserting other sections such as ‘section 127A’ which promotes the recognition of languages as well as section 116A which prohibits any form of racial discrimination. There have also been major strides designed to improve the education system so that it can also cater for the needs and interests of the indigenous people so that they can also develop themselves to meet the demands of the economy. However, it seems that progress in this respect is a bit slow since the level of racial segregation in the Australian political system has been deeply entrenched.
References
Behrendt, L 2010, ‘Closing the Evidence Gap’ in M. Lyons & M. Lyons (eds) More than
Luck, Centre for Policy Development, 2010. Viewed 12 January 2014, from: .
Kristoff, Nick (2012) ‘Poverty’s Poster Child’, New York Times, May 12, 2012. Viewed 12
January 2014, from: < http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/opinion/kristof- povertys-poster-child.html>.
Langton, M. (2008) ‘Trapped in the Aboriginal Reality Show’, Griffith Review, 19.’ Viewed
12 January 2014, from: .
Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution: The Report of
the Expert Panel (2012). ‘Executive Summary.’ Viewed 12 January 2014, from: . Read More
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