Why It’s Time For Reckoning Instead Of Reconciliation

Reconciliation Week calls on all Australians to reflect on First Nations’ history and how we can improve for the future.

Yet as another Reconciliation Week has come to a close, the question begs, where do tea and scones get us on the pathway to recognising the impact of colonisation on First Nations Peoples?

This week on Blak Matters, Teela and MC tackle whether ‘reconciliation’ is the word that we should be using, or if ‘reckoning’ – both as a country and as individuals, could be more effective. 

Listen to Episode Six now:

When MC questioned how it’s hard to reconcile something that was “never there to begin with” (that is, mending the relationship with First Nations Peoples since colonisation).

“You can’t reconcile something when we haven’t even met yet as a nation,” Teela said.

“Australia: built on invasion, colonisation. These are just historical facts. You can’t wipe away that history in celebrating reconciliation when we don’t even have power over our own affairs in this country.”

While Teela acknowledged in some ways Reconciliation Week has served some purpose, it’s true meaning has been lost, and it’s because of this, “reckoning” is something far more accurate.

“It’s been a week that’s become one to feel good and massage out the feathers and whatever’s been ruffled but were still expected to feel good about this week,” she said/

“I think it would be ignorant of me to say it hasn’t served a purpose. It has served a purpose and I would say, reconciliation the term, and what we now know it as… I believe in [some] space it has made an impact.

“Reckoning is really about sitting with the discomfort that comes with changing our nations and its structures and its systems.

“You can’t colonise an entire continent and ignore the fact that many First Nations across the continent have never seated sovereignty.”

Blak Matters provides an inclusive, authentic exploration of First Nations issues from a First Nations perspective. Delivered as an honest but positive conversation between friends, MC & Teela Reid, in under 20 minutes. Listen now on the Listnr app.