Queen's mixed legacy for Indigenous people

·2-min read

The ongoing pain and trauma inflicted on Indigenous Australians by the British monarchy has been raised in powerful speeches to parliament.

Federal politicians used condolences for Queen Elizabeth II to call for greater reconciliation and reflection on the impact of colonisation.

Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney, a Wiradjuri woman, said there had been a range of emotions among the community following the Queen's death.

"For many Indigenous Australians, the legacy of the monarchy is fraught - a complex, difficult and painful reminder of the impact of colonisation," she told parliament.

"The Queen's relationship with Indigenous Australians reflects both how far we have come and how far we still have to go."

Greens leader Adam Bandt called for a treaty with Indigenous people following the Queen's death.

"We must recognise the cultural, structural and institutional ways in which the crown, which we remain a part of, has oppressed First Nations people here and around the world," he said.

"When it comes to our history, there is no glory and make-believe because the pain of colonisation is real."

Greens senator Dorinda Cox, a Yamatji-Noongar woman, said feelings among Indigenous people ranged from anger to stress, hurt and frustration.

"We are a mature nation, people will have conversations that both commemorate the life of a public figure, while calling out the problematic legacy of the British Empire," she said.

Labor senator Malarndirri McCarthy, a Yanyuwa woman, spoke of the mixed feelings felt among her own family.

"We reflected on what the monarchy has meant, and what the world of colonialism has meant and know deeply, the pain of the frontier wars and the conflicts that came with that," she said.

"Maybe the Queen was not directly responsible for that, but we know these are the mixed feelings and emotions of so many across the globe in the Commonwealth lands for First Nations people."

Liberal senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, a Warlpiri woman, said Australia should be "grateful" for the British invasion.

"Like every nation around the globe, our history features dark and shameful incidents, we must never shy away from acknowledging these as they are part of our identity," she said.

"This landmass we call home was never going to be left untouched by anyone other than our first peoples.

"We can be grateful it was in fact the British who settled here before the many other possible colonists."