"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Wednesday 23 January 2008

The Burnum Burnum Declaration: Aboriginal Justice with Honour

The Burnum Burnum Declaration
Aboriginal Justice with Honour


I, Burnum Burnum, being an aristocratic nobleman of ancient Australia, do hereby take possession of England on behalf of the Aboriginal Crown.

            In doing so we wish no harm to you natives, but assure you that we are here to bring you good manners, refinement and an opportunity to make a Koompartoo – a fresh start.

            Henceforth, my face shall appear on your coins and stamps to signify our sovereignty over this domain.

            At the end of two hundred years, we Will make a Treaty to validate occupation by peaceful means and not by conquest.

            For the more advanced, we bring the complex language of the Pitjantjatjara, we will teach you how to have a spiritual relationship with the Earth and show you how to get food from the bush.

            We do not intend to souvenir, pickle and preserve the heads of 2000 of your people, nor to publicly display the skeletal remains of your Royal Highness, as was done to our Queen Truganinni for eighty years.
Neither do we intend to poison your water holes, lace your bread with strychnine or introduce you to highly toxic drugs.

            We acknowledge the need to preserve the Caucasian race as of interest to antiquity, although we may be inclined to conduct experiments by measuring the size of your skulls for levels of intelligence.

            We pledge not to sterilise your young women.

            We solemnly promise not to make a quarry of England and export your valuable minerals back to the old country Australia, but to encourage Earth Repair Action to unite people, communities and religions in a common, productive, peaceful purpose.

            Finally, we give an absolute undertaking that you shall not be placed into the mentality of government handouts for the next five generations but you will enjoy the full benefits of Aboriginal equality.

Burnum Burnum made this solemn declaration standing on a rock at the base of England’s White Cliffs of Dover on January 26th, 1988 – the bicentennial of the official British invasion of the Great Southland.

As a footnote, after this declaration the Australian two dollar coin became a two-headed coin – on one side the queen’s head, and on the other side this design, based on Burnum Burnam’s head:

It was twenty years ago today...

We first published this in NEXUS New Times Magazine Volume 1, Number 4, 1988 – see http://www.nexusmagazine.com
- R.A
image - http://www.moranprizes.com.au/ContentFiles/MoranPrizes/Images/DMNPP/1990/Peter%20Zageris%20-%20Burnum%20Burnum.jpg
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