One of the lessons from the last 15 years is that the reconciliation movement has failed in part because it was dominated by people who saw the healing task as one of ‘healing the nation’.
The nationalists invariably play directly into the hands of those who seek to deny full rights to Australia’s First Peoples. Nations are comprised of commonality of language, culture and other aspects of life as a shared experience.
Life in Australia cannot be seen as comprising a single nation. There are hundreds of indigenous languages and cultural variations which are both distinct from each other and from the language and culture introduced with British colonisation.
From a point of view which is informed by indigenous considerations, there are many nations in Australia.
ONE (ANGLO) NATION
Such is the extent of Anglo-Australian habitual domination, the default (modern) setting in discussing these matters, has always been presumed to be the ‘nation’ which is imagined to be somehow co-extensive with the modern Anglo-Australian nation-state. One people, one set of laws, one nation.
Many different indigenous groups have also had people within them, at various times, who promote their groups as being a ‘nation’. That is, of being constituted on a higher level that than allowed them by the modern Anglo-Australian nation-state.
Anglo-Australian authorities, jealously guarding their patch, never provide any ‘oxygen’ to those indigenous people who seek recognition for their Ways on the ‘nation’ level.
The position that there shall be only ”one nation” in Australia is not a statement of fact. Rather, it is a cultural program which seeks to force life to comply with introduced notions of life.
This imaginary Australian nation is best seen as part of an elaborate fantasy structure. To get a handle on the way the fantasy structure operates it is useful to ask “What is systematically marginalised and excluded?”
Recently, on ANZAC Day 2007, there was an attempt made to honour the indigenous people who committed part of their lives to defending the country.
Recognition was provided to indigenous people who had served in the Armed Forces and, as was explicitly said on one accession, had “served the nation”.
But what about all those First People who had equally made sacrifices in defending their country from the British invaders? Didn’t they too die or suffer as a consequence of defending this country?
No. While they very clearly were acting in the best interests of Australia at the time, they did not die or suffer ‘defending the nation’.
This mental construct of ‘the nation’ is a form of blocked energy. It does not assist our minds to make sense out of our reality.
ONE NATION? NO WAY!
The adherents to “One Nation” range from Prime Minister Howard, through the ALP Opposition, and it appears, is a necessary (if unconscious) selection criterion for top positions in peak organisations (indigenous and non-indigenous).
This is just another form of ethnocide which daily destroys life in Australia.
We can no longer afford to entertain this mistaken fantasy and are under no obligation to humour anyone who speaks the language of “one nation”.
Rather than trying to ‘heal the nation’ or ‘redeem the nation’ our healing challenge is to gently dissolve those mental blockages by which ‘the nation’ is constituted.
Rather than replacing the former ‘nation’ with a reformed version (Australian nation V2) we need completely new thinking on a new life designs, and life designs which provide full lives for all.
The late Wenten Rubuntja, spoke of “Two Laws Together”.
At a bare minimum, in order to preserve space for surviving First Peoples with the freedom to breath and to Be, we need to replace “One Nation” thinking with something like “One Country (maybe) – Two Ways (definitely)”.