Indigenous | Aboriginal

Aboriginal and Māori exchange at Waitangi

An Aboriginal mob have gathered at Waitangi today in support of the day’s celebrations.

The Gumbaynggirr Country Mob, whose people are located in Coffs Harbour, Australia was in attendance at this morning’s dawn ceremony at the Waitangi Treaty grounds.

A spokesperson from the mob said this cultural exchange was a chance to learn from Māori.

“In 2022 we opened our own school, the Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School. So we’re doing a lot of research into Māori immersion schools here, and trying to model our school on that,”

This is the second time Gumbaynggirr Country has been to Waitangi and performed on the grounds.

The country’s spokesperson says it’s important for indigenous tribes to unite in solidarity, as they all share similar hardships.

“I’m starting to understand it more deeply now, the more that we’ve done it. We’ve all got a similar struggle as indigenous peoples and I think the more that we can unite together, because the forces of colonialism are the same, so we all need to bind together to fight those forces of colonialism.”

The Voice referendum

Unlike Aotearoa, where there is a binding agreement between the Crown and Māori, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people across Australia still don’t have a recognised voice.

The Voice Referendum in Australia, which would have allowed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people a voice on their own affairs to Parliament failed to win support in October last year.

The Gumbaynggirr people believe their fight isn’t over.

“Through the grassroots movement in all of our communities, that’s where success is. And that’s where the progress and the positive impacts are happening.”