Malcolm Turnbull’s criticism of Bill Shorten’s remarks on a treaty with Indigenous Australians reflects genuine anxiety that support for recognition is cooling.
If we are to have a mature and sensible debate on Indigenous recognition, we must be more willing to embrace difficult issues and diverse perspectives.
Australia has rejected self-determination as being fundamental to Indigenous humanness and development.
Public policy no longer requires the imprimatur of the Aboriginal people; Aboriginal participation in the decisions taken about their lives is negligible.
As election day edges closer, the Labor Party finds itself without much of a tailwind. At Labor's official campaign launch on Sunday, Bill Shorten will need to bring together the party's story.
Bill Shorten on Tuesday confirmed that he was open to the idea of a treaty with Australia’s Indigenous people.
Would debate about a treaty with the First Australians endanger the success of the proposed referendum for their constitutional recognition – as Malcolm Turnbull claims? Very likely. But it can’t be avoided…
The Coalition has fundamentally altered the architecture of Indigenous policymaking and delivery since 2013.
Serious policy focus on Indigenous affairs has been notably absent during the early weeks of the long election campaign.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, constitutional change is about righting injustices inherent in the current recognition of difference, rather than promoting an agenda of sameness.
The process of constitutional recognition was initially to be completed by 2013, but is now being directed towards a referendum in May 2017 to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
Native Americans have struggled for recognition of the violence done to them through colonisation and the persistent harms of settler colonialism.
Despite significant shortcomings in the negotiation, content and honouring of treaties, they continue to define the nature of the relationship between most Native Americans and the United States.
Bill Shorten hopes Pat Dodson’s presence in the Senate will help on the debate over constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
Pat Dodson, the father of reconciliation, is set to become a Labor senator for Western Australia following Joe Bullock’s surprise announcement that he is quitting.
Grand Chief Perry Bellegarde presents a blanket to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly.
Canadians are watching their new government tackle unprecedented reform in Indigenous affairs.
Bill Shorten has announced that a Labor government would boost funding for programs supporting the education and mentoring of Indigenous girls.
Bill Shorten has announced an initiative that would tackle the educational disadvantage faced by Aboriginal girls, and also pledged a Labor government would address the "justice gap".
University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker and Michelle Grattan discuss the week in politics.
Indigenous leader Pat Dodson is expected to co-chair a Referendum Council together with lawyer Mark Leibler.
How many issues can be put to the Australian people for votes in a single year? This is a key question for the referendum to recognise First Australians in the constitution.
Marking the 30th anniversary of the handover of Uluru to its traditional owners, Bill Shorten reiterated the importance of constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has said that Indigenous recognition in the Constitution cannot just be "empty poetry" but must lay to rest "the ghosts of the discrimination" haunting the document.
An appropriate process for achieving consensus among Indigenous communities is critical to the success of constitutional recognition.
Tony Abbott’s belated agreement with Indigenous leaders on a consultation process for constitutional recognition is a step in the right direction.
Tony Abbott rejected a push from Indigenous leaders, including Noel Pearson, for Indigenous-only community conventions on constitutional recognition.
Tony Abbott's rejection of Indigenous-only conventions need not derail the push for constitutional recognition. But it demonstrates just how crucial sound process is to achieving change.
Australia’s proposals to recognise Indigenous people in its Constitution will likely be much less substantive than those of many other countries.
Constitutional recognition may have very limited impact if the groups benefiting from the change lack the political weight to leverage it into greater social change.
The Constitution has been very successful in setting out how Australian federalism will work.
Museum of Australian Democracy
The problem with constitutional recognition lies in the way in which it changes the nature of the constitution away from a procedural document by introducing issues of identity into it.
Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten pose for a photograph with Indigenous leaders before a meeting to consider the process for a referendum on Indigenous recognition.
Tony Abbott, Bill Shorten and Indigenous leaders dealt primarily with process rather than substance in their Monday meeting on constitutional recognition of the first Australians. This made it a whole…
Libertarians, such as David Leyonhjelm, refuse to see anything but individual liberty as having decisive moral weight.
David Leyonhjelm is a conviction politician whose positions are governed by principle, not populism. But he is exposing the disturbing moral thinness of the libertarian principles he espouses.
Senator David Leyonhjelm has said he is not taking sides in the debate, saying only that anthropologists disagree.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm has said that Aboriginal people may not be the first occupants of Australia. What does the research say?