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I've walked 12 million steps to deliver a message to the Australian government

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From its inception the Australian government has been in denial about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s political existence. Prior to colonisation our people were organised into over 500 nations, each with distinct languages and systems of law that prevailed for over 4,000 generations and 100,000 years. Terra nullius is a fiction.

No treaty has ever been signed. Why, when the colonists arrived, could they not see the intricate web of political organisation and law, the historical wisdom or the deep knowledge that was the culture of our people? Instead they looked upon us and they saw an earlier version of themselves – an uncivilised people lacking capacity and culture. They believed that we would not survive their cultural and industrial colonisation.

The Australian colonialist mentality has been about the exploitation of nature and the dominance over Indigenous people. This dominance has made our land and its people sick. It is time to wake up. We are a part of nature. We must protect it.

I grew up on the Woorabinda Mission, in central Queensland. Woorabinda was one of three large-scale missions established in 1927 to contain Aboriginal culture and replace it with a Christian-dominated Westminster value system. Although on traditional Gangulu nation and the Wadja nation country, the mission housed 52 different nations, an indication of how many families and nations had been decimated, stolen or misplaced.

The mission establishment did not encourage or even recognise traditional Aboriginal culture.

Growing up, it appeared to me that many of our people were caught in a........

© The Guardian