Reconciliation in Action
Not to be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of IWC Ltd Executive.
Within the Language of a Healing Paradigm, Reconciliation in Action motivates, values and recognizes the rightness of “we-ness” over-riding the isolation and egocentricity of singularity in a relationship. It breaks the cyclical mindset of the current status quo, bringing into reality a subliminal integrity that transcends politics. It requires a collective translucent humility because the paramount focus of Reconciliation in Action is bringing people into a safe and secure zone where barriers can be recognized, respected, responded to and resolved. From this, we are empowered to consider “we”, “ours” and “us” becoming the conversation.
(Yavu-Kama-Harathunian, Young J and Young A: 2019)
Reconciliation in Action – A Philosophical Choice
These words have been articulated from within the hearts of members of IWC (Indigenous Wellbeing Centre). Staff, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, came together to share their views of what they saw as the Reconciliation of this Nation. Because of the fragility of what was being discussed, staff understood from the beginning that they were dealing with a Spiritual matter in the natural world. The outcome is for the Highest Good.
Reconciliation in Action is an act of Majestic Integrity which shares respect, kindness and honesty in the face of a deep-rooted offence which has created barriers between Sovereign Nations’ peoples and others. The offence, formed in ignorance, echoes throughout history to the present day.
Forgiveness and acceptance – the key elements of Reconciliation – emerge from a shared experience between all concerned. It takes Reconciliation out of the mundane and into the realms of Spiritual profoundness. It matters to nation builders, in particular government, politicians and the common man.
Therefore Reconciliation has to be more than an Aspiration or Plan. It must be tangible, doable and include specific actions undertaken by our communities with majestic integrity of Spirit and translucent trustworthiness between all parties. The outcomes embryonically develop within a Reconciliatory Framework and an Aboriginal Terms of Reference, and before an activity manifests there is recognition that it is within a Humility Paradigm which incorporates a subliminal integrity of Spirit and Soul.
The process of forgiveness and acceptance evolves from within that Humility Paradigm. It is transformative and transparent because all parties are engaged in a Spiritual experience. The application of all of this makes Reconciliation move into Action, rather than being an Aspiration or Plan.
Covenant Agreements and their role in Reconciliation in Action
Covenant Agreement must be recognised and respected within Reconciliation in Action as being as relevant today as in ancient times. The introduction of Covenant Agreement sits firmly within an Aboriginal Terms of Reference (ATR) framework and resonates within a Cultural Philosophical Ethos (CPE) Theory.
For 60,000 years, Covenant Agreements were an arrangement whereby this country was governed and its peoples were ensured the inalienable rights:
- To practice Aboriginal Spirituality as handed down from generation to generation from the Ancestors.
- To practice Aboriginal Customary Cultural Law as the guide to accepted values and mores. These promoted suitable behaviours to enable peace and harmony between Sovereign Nation peoples. These peoples were from nations as far north as Cape York, as southerly as Tasmania, as easterly as Lord Howe Island and as westerly as the Christmas Islands. The peoples of Tiwi and other islands around Australia were included.
- To follow the family systems chosen by the tribal group, including parental guidance by Elders and community to maintain the family as an entity in its own right.
- To recognise[JY1] , appreciate and value Custodianship of the Land; that the Land owned the people, who were its Custodians.
- To practice Obligation and Reciprocity between Sovereign Nations’ peoples.
- To promote trading (bartering) across the Sovereign nations’ boundaries such as occurred during the Aztec period ie cloth, gems, decorative items for ceremonial status, and weaponry were bartered.
- To promote and practice Experiential Learning to educate children and adults alike to appreciate and value their Cultural identity, their Culture and their connectedness to their Sacred Lands.
Direct parallels can be drawn between the Seven Pillars of Society that exist in today’s Australia, and those of the ancient Sovereign peoples of Australia and other colonised First Peoples’ nations.
Different groups across Australia speak of great skirmishes, large feuds and conflicts between the Sovereign Nations’ peoples prior to colonisation. However, wars as understood by the colonists occurred only after 1788 and these stories are held in the oral histories of Sovereign peoples. The resultant Lateral Violence became part of the legacy of colonisation. Likewise, the First Nations peoples of Canada and others like them fought wars only after colonisation, and suffer the same Lateral Violence within their culture today.
Treaties, Constitutional Change and Covenant Agreements
Treaties are made, and broken, in line with political fads and vox-popli trends according to what is fashionable locally and globally. They are transient and shifting, driven by agendas, power grabs and attempts to reposition public opinion to meet political operational needs. They are not borne out of the will of the populace, and do not have ownership among the common man. Often, they have little or any real meaning, and are held up in public view only to maintain the status quo.
Constitutional Change is driven by treaties and political masters (often those men in the back room) as a method of embedding a political stance in the public psyche. This is for the purpose of maintaining or escalating the desired direction in which the government of the day wishes to move. It is not underpinned by integrity, but motivated by political expediency and commercial agendas.
Covenant Agreement is binding. It can only be forged at Sovereign level and is designed to find a middle ground where war has been held, or is at risk of occurring. It requires both parties to come together in equity and equality, accepting of differences and respectful of culture and the peoples within those Sovereign nations.
Treaty comes into play only between government representative and Sovereign peoples, irrespective of the current status.
Constitutional Change begins within the conqueror peoples where compassionate approaches to inclusivity are the impetus to include the conquered Sovereign peoples, irrespective of the current status. This cannot be achieved unless understanding of the history becomes integral in the working towards Reconciliation.
Unlike treaties, Covenant Agreements are immutable and can only be forged between a Sovereign and Sovereign peoples, irrespective of the current status. A Covenant Agreement builds a compassionate and respectful bridge between nations whereby Sovereign representatives such as the British Crown and Elders of the Sovereign peoples’ nations can come together in peace.
It is this peaceful gathering that inspires both parties toward meeting a middle ground for the Highest Good of all. In particular, when a nation as young as Australia is promoting its adult status on the world stage, the past must be honoured and remembered well beyond the arrival of the colonists. To do so is to step out of the juvenile nation-building status quo and into a mature, wise, compassionate stance of ancient wisdoms working with and alongside the modern World View. One Australia united in its history, its present and its future.
Reconciliation within a Spiritual Framework
At its core, Reconciliation is a key element of Spirituality in an empowering and proactive delivery of actions that surpass time and space. It ensures that equity, equality, values, mores and integrity are intact so as to facilitate the lessening or removal of the barriers. Irrespective of the present play on history, a Covenant Agreement includes knowledge of the past and positions it in a more truthful record of events for the education and engagement of the emerging Australians who will help to shape the future of this nation.
Because of the invisibility of the barriers created by treaty and Constitutional change, the solutions must evolve out of the ethereal nature of Spirituality and this can only occur when a Covenant Agreement is cut.
This means it has to be led by peoples who understand the weightedness of forgiveness, the investment of acceptance and the value of humility where the Highest Good is paramount. In short, it cannot rest with politicians or government officials, but must sit with the Sovereign and Sovereign peoples. To delegate this would render a deeper hurt through a worthless and disrespectful parody for the healing of an ancient wound.
Within the Language of a Healing Paradigm, Reconciliation in Action motivates, values and recognises the rightness of “we-ness” over-riding the isolation and egocentricity of singularity in a relationship. It breaks the cyclical mindset of the current status quo, bringing into reality a subliminal integrity that transcends politics. It requires a collective translucent humility because the paramount focus of Reconciliation in Action is bringing people into a safe and secure zone where barriers can be recognised, respected, responded to and resolved. From this, we are empowered to consider “we”, “our”, “ours” and “us” becoming the conversation.
Recognition of the conflict sits within a mediation folio where all parties agree that a great offence has occurred. Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australia has to recognise that the barrier was created in 1788 and perpetuated through colonisation processes driven by today’s Seven Pillars of Society, in particular religion, politics and law.
The barrier has been respected by one party and the impact has been ignored because of political, social and spiritual attitudes driven by a patriarchal and hierarchical system. These attitudes are portrayed by a belief within Aboriginal World View that the barrier exists and can be removed, while within the non-Aboriginal World View there is a conviction that the barrier exists but will be forgotten in the face of relentless progression. It ignores the ancient wisdoms from other worlds, and seeks to bury them under the guise of Nationhood building. Further, of significance in the Reconciliation debate are the different emphases placed upon spirituality and cultural nuances that highlight variances in values, mores and ethics.
Respect must be shown by all parties for the fact that the two World Views exist; they are not static and continue to evolve in the 21st century. All cultures are dynamic and are shaped by central traits of the peoples, integrating with environmental, ecological, commercial and social influences. Therefore, the non-Aboriginal World View maintains the patriarchal, hierarchical systems of yesteryear because they are ingrained within their psyche. The Aboriginal World View uncomfortably sits within these systems, but maintains the integrity of many of its cultural, ancient ways which are intrinsic to the Sovereign peoples’ Spirituality and Law.
The two World Views co-habiting the same environment must respect the differences of interpretation around the ancient offence. To do so empowers people to move towards the pathway to Reconciliation in Action.
The 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart (Aboriginal World View) and 2018 Constitutional Recognition Committee (non-Aboriginal World View) will strengthen the barrier if the Statement is not recognised and respected as the first tentative step towards reducing the power of the offence. Currently, the two World Views are approaching Reconciliation in Action in relation to the Statement and Constitutional Committee from different frameworks.
These fractionalised perspectives consider largely what is appropriate to them without understanding that collectivity and unity make both frameworks applicable and relevant.
Any response to the barrier requires the collectivity of “we-ness”. Reconciliation in Action demands respect for the Sovereignty of this First Nations peoples and the Sovereignty of the British Crown. It cannot be resolved by a representative on one side and Sovereign peoples on the other. An agreement between Sovereigns carries weight beyond political and personal agendas. It also obviates interference by government instrumentalities in a Reconciliatory process that must abide in the very Spirituality of both Nations.
In this way, the two World Views can align and co-exist in harmony, with respect. This paves the way for the end game of Reconciliation in Action delivered through all layers and levels of society.
Humility, respect, kindness, honouring of others and self will lead to the ultimate forgiveness that will empower those who take up the actions in a true sense of Reconciliation within Spirituality. To do otherwise would risk a pseudo portrayal of the reality of all that Reconciliation has to offer.
Compensation is not about healing, nor can it be placed in the guilt-ridden history of the sins of the forefathers. Reconciliation deletes these two schools of thought, and focuses on healing the Land. When the Land is healed the Nation is healthy and motivates ALL Australians to work together. Introducing representatives of the Seven Pillars of Society into the conversation around Reconciliation is essential because each has played its part in maintaining the status quo and failing to accept the true history of this land.
Collectively, the Seven Pillars of today’s Australia have been the catalyst for much of the devastation inflicted on the Aboriginal way of life within Australia. They also have created and then perpetuated the closed mind attitudes and actions of many non-Aboriginal Australians around Reconciliation. For true healing, the Seven Pillars guiding today’s nation-builders must acknowledge and accept the part they continue to play, in particular, religion, politics and law.
Reconciliation is about healing the Land upon which this Nation has built its hopes and dreams. The healing of the Land will heal the people, and when the people are healed they will look outwardly to those around them and consider them to be Brothers and Sisters of the same family, Australians building their Nation for the Highest Good.
This Nation has become the beauty of peoples’ expressions for living in a peaceful and prosperous country where the energies of positivity and security are harnessed and held in high esteem.
Delivering Reconciliation in Action with Majestic Integrity will surpass to the Highest Good for all, without exclusion, bringing together a Nation that looks to a strong and longed-for harmonious and invested future.
(Yavu-Kama-Harathunian, Young J and Young A: 2019)
Not to be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of IWC Ltd Executive.