Compare the responses of Australia with the responses of other countries to the challenge of reconciliation.

Essay by dx91High School, 10th grade February 2008

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Many countries around the world have had the same issues of injustice between indigenous and the more recent settlers as we have had in Australia. Compared to other countries such as New Zealand and the United States of America (USA), Australia hasn’t responded to the challenges of reconciliation as actively. The Maori of New Zealand and the Native Americans of USA, generally have a better quality of life than that of Indigenous Australians.

The Indigenous people have strong connections with their native lands. One of the most important issues that needs to be overcome in order to achieve reconciliation, is land rights. Having ownership over their land, may give the Indigenous people a certain amount of economic independence, which helps them maintain independence from governments. Before the High Court’s Mabo Decision, Australia was the only country under the sovereignty of Britain to have not recognised the indigenous peoples’ land rights.

The Maoris and the Native Americans have greater rights to ownership of land than Indigenous Australians do.

Maoris and Native Americans have degrees of self-determination unlike the Aboriginals. In the USA, the law has continually recognised the sovereignty of Indian nations on their own country. The 561 federally recognised tribal governments possess the right to form their own government, to enforce laws, to tax, to establish membership, to license and regulate activities, and to zone and exclude persons from tribal territories. Many of these tribes have been able to generate large amounts of income from casinos they run on their land. Last year gambling brought in $US25.7 billion for Native Americans.

In New Zealand the Maori tribes signed the Treaty of Waitangi. This is an agreement between the British Crown and the Maori, where the Maori gave the British a right to buy lands they wished to sell and...