Some folks are calling for the United States to engage in a process with the Indigenous Peoples of North America similar to what Australia did with the Aboriginal Peoples.
December 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the Final Report of the Council of Aboriginal Reconciliation and the culmination of a formal reconciliation process.
Reports claims that the Decade of Reconciliation began when Prime Minister Keating’s government created the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation in 1991. The effects of this law and the Council extended far beyond mainstream political institutions and the processes and organizations established by the law ensured widespread public participation and community awareness.
The high-points of this process include the National Apology to Aboriginal Peoples and the bipartisan commitment to Close the Gap.
This report claims that ‘unfinished business’ of reconciliation is now being addressed and that possibly Australia appear to be closer than ever to recognizing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in its Constitution.
This would be very dramatic and based on the very little I know of Australia, I’ll believe it when I see it.
The Final Report contains several recommendations: (I will just list a few, go to the Report for further information)
Resetting relationships and respecting rights
The Australian Government should fully and explicitly implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in domestic law and policy.
The Federal Parliament should honor its commitment to hold a referendum to recognize Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Constitution by the 2013 election.
The Federal Government increase funding to Reconciliation Australia to extend its work
The Government should implement the Bringing them Home recommendations for the Stolen Generations of Aboriginal children
Commit to close the life expectancy gap,
Enhance the capacity of Aboriginal Community Controlled organizations to deliver culturally appropriate services through increased funding and consultation in the development of policy