I have just spent the last week in New Zealand. It confirmed for me again just how much work we have to do to embrace our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Australia.
In New Zealand, Maori culture and language is everywhere, and speaking and singing in Maori is quite common for all who live in New Zealand. Even the kids programs on TV include Maori language as a I watched my son learn that a cow or Kau says moooo. The 'welcome to country' for the Just Action conference almost brought me to tears as I watched a genuine exchange of respect and understanding. To then witness the American Teritorial Commander speak for the first five minutes in Maori said to me that learning the language and culture of the Indigenous people is not a token, but a given. It blew me away.
I have two questions. One, why is New Zealand so much more advanced than Australian in their acceptance of Indigenous people and culture? And two, what does Australia need to do to follow in their example?
I would love for some discussion to start, otherwise, I guess I will research and get back to you!!
Oh, and look out for the upcoming Surrender Truth Lab to be held on Saturday 6th November at Box Hill Baptist Church/Art Gallery (Melbourne).
The Jisas wantaim Art Exhibition will be opening will be from 4-6pm and the SURRENDER Truth Lab: ’First things first – how your faith is linked to Indigenous Australians and what to do about it’ at 7:30pm. Speakers include AUNTY JEAN PHILLIPS, GRAHAM PAULSON, BILLY WILLIAMS, LLYOD HOLLINGSWORTH, GOMA CONLON
Come and chat with passionate Indigenous Christians in a safe space. Explore the history of Christian interaction with the First Australians, begin a journey through listening and find out why the country needs to look to Aboriginal leadership for true reconciliation.