By Stacey Campton, First Nations woman and Director of Strategy and Development at Children’s Ground
Another Invasion Day is upon us.
Another year has passed where change is the only constant.
Another year struggling through a pandemic that has drastically altered the way we live.
And so we adapt, survive and continue on.
Struggle, change, adaptation, survival – these concepts are not new to First Nations people. We’ve been in this business since well before the invasion of our Country in 1788 – and for more than 200 years after.
If you know your history, your Black history, you will know we’ve thrived on this land for over 60,000 years. You will also know that we never ceded the sovereignty of this country we now all share. You will know that since invasion, First Nations people have been pushed to the brink of extinction through genocide, assimilation, integration and reconciliation. You will know that we continue to be denied recognition for our connection to land, our education systems, our health practices, our ways of caring for our children and Elders, our justice and our self-determination.
If you don’t know, then we urge you to know.
We urge you to know about our people – our ingenuity, our deep thinking, our adaptability; our capacity to survive and thrive on these lands for over 60,000 years. We urge you to know what January 26 means to us, and how this date affects us – the day we were invaded, accosted, murdered, moved off our lands and an ongoing, attempted genocide began. If you know this, then you know that we can’t celebrate this date with you.
We need an Australia that will push, question, grow and engage in things that matter.
First Nations people and our community’s matter.
First Nations self-determination matters.
The true history of this country matters.
Please educate yourself, listen, discuss and take action. If you are educated then you can be activated. There are lots of great resources, designed and delivered by First Nations people that can support your learning on this and other First Nations issues.
Do the work.
It’s your turn.
Learn what it means to First Nations people to “change the date”. Change is scary. But we know that for our country and its seasons – change is inevitable. We can’t wait for governments to accept change; we must make it happen ourselves.
There is one thing that will not change, though – this always was and always will be Aboriginal land. We look forward to the ‘date’ when this is truly understood and celebrated.