Truth-telling needs to happen before treaties can be negotiated, Labor Senator Pat Dodson has said.
The comment follows the Senate’s rejection of Dodson’s motion on Tuesday which called for a Joint Select Committee to look into a national process for truth telling.
Liberal MPs opposed the motion, saying the processes were a matter for state and territory governments.
Dodson says the rejection is a “cop-out, a sham and a lie.”
“They ought to own up to the Australian people that they haven’t got the guts to really face the truth of how our settlement narrative really should be told.”
Dodson also took aim at Federal Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt, saying it was no good “prancing around” the hard issues.
A national truth telling process was a recommendation by the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which called for a “Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.”
Work towards a truth telling process in Victoria is already underway, with the state government and Victoria’s First People’s Assembly announcing the creation of a Truth and Justice Commission which will run for three years.
Yawuru man Senator Dodson says before treaty negotiations can happen, the broader population need to understand the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.