A South Australian senator warned parliament not to allow people to identify as Indigenous, ahead of a Voice referendum to parliament, saying the government should instead “represent the bona fides of Indigenous claims.” I assure you,” he said.
Liberal Senator Kerryn Riddle told parliament yesterday that there is “no verification or accountability” in allowing people to self-identify as Indigenous Australians.
She said she’s alarmed that the long-accepted test for confirming whether a person is indigenous is being “twiddled” in favor of self-identification.
Riddle said the tests included proving indigenous descent, identifying them as descent, and getting the community to acknowledge their descent.
“It’s not perfect, but there’s no evidence that it’s broken, and I haven’t noticed that the relationship is gone,” said the Alente woman.
“I am uneasy about tinkering with this definition and the implications and consequences for the delivery of programs and services to those who need it most.
“Governments and policies should have no place for self-identification tests or for the fluidity of definitions as policies and programs apply.”
Riddle, who grew up in Alice Springs and was elected South Australia’s first Aboriginal Member of Parliament earlier this year, said:
“Counting people who shouldn’t be counted, relying on box tickers with a moral compass, and risking more access by charlatans to special services designed for those who need it most,” she said. Told.
“Fail, fail, fail all tests.”
“The accountability of governments, their agencies and community organizations is to ensure the authenticity of Indigenous peoples’ claims,” Riddle said.
“If the referendum is successful, we should do it immediately before asking Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders to elect their voice representatives,” she said.
The senator previously told Congress that she gets “mad” when people define her first or only by race.
“I was not an Indigenous news reporter, an Indigenous businesswoman, or a director of an Indigenous company. First and foremost, I am just me,” she said in her September debut speech. .
This is after the 2022 Census showed that Australia’s Indigenous population has increased by 25% compared to five years ago.
The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians over the age of 65 has more than doubled.
This figure suggests that Australia’s indigenous population is now at or above levels estimated at the time of white settlement.
Riddle said the surge could be explained by ancestry-tracking websites telling people they were indigenous.
Indaily We have reached out to the special envoy responsible for the voices of Australian Indigenous Peoples Minister Linda Burney and Member of Parliament Senator Patrick Dodson for comment.
The federal government is expected to provide details on a proposed Voice to Congress referendum early next year, as the referendum is due well before the next federal election in 2025.
Australians are asked whether they support constitutional changes that establish a voice for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.
The proposed voice will consist of elected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples responsible for advising Congress and government on issues of importance to Indigenous peoples.
According to a report released today by Reconciliation Australia, 85% of Australians believe it is important for Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders to have a say in issues that affect them.
81% of Australians indicate that they believe it is important to protect Indigenous peoples within the constitution to prevent the government from removing them.
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South Australia’s Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Kyam Maher, unveiled a state-based version of the Voice to Parliament bill earlier this month.
The bill proposes to establish a group of First Nations people from across the state to advise and address Congress.
South Australia does not have to amend its constitution or hold a referendum to establish a voice in the state legislature.
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