The Statement from the Heart 2017

The Statement from the Heart issued in May 2017

On the 26th of May 2017 a statement was issued from over 250 delegates who had gathered at the 2017 First Nations National Constitutional Convention. The conversation at Uluru built on six months of discussions held around the country where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples considered five options presented in the Referendum Council’s discussion paper. When asked what constitutional recognition means to them, First Nations peoples in attendance told the Council they don’t want recognition if it means a simple acknowledgement, but rather constitutional reform that makes a real difference in their communities.

"This sovereignty is a spiritual notion: the ancestral tie between the land, or ‘mother nature’, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who were born therefrom, remain attached thereto, and must one day return thither to be united with our ancestors. This link is the basis of the ownership of the soil, or better, of sovereignty. It has never been ceded or extinguished, and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.

We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement - making between governments and First Nations and truth - telling about our history."

The statement can be found here.

The press release discussing the process released by the Referendum Council can be found here.

A quick guide issued by the Parliament of Australia can be found here.