Indigenous newsreader asks Royals to apologize for colonialism, defends people who refuse to mourn Queen's death
'Australia was settled without the consent of First Nations people that were here,' Narelda Jacobs said
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: An indigenous Australian television presenter has demanded an apology from the British royal family for First Nations' people after Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8. Narelda Jacobs, a newsreader on Studio 10 morning show, showed her discontentment towards the monarchy while asserting that aboriginal people should not be condemned for not honoring Her Majesty’s death.
Calling British royalism a “symbol of colonization,” she said as reported by The Daily Mail, “There was a great wrong that was done. Australia was settled without the consent of First Nations people that were here.” She went on to mention her late father, Cedric, an Indigenous man and the survivor of the Stolen Generations, who was also reverend of the Uniting Church in Australia. Narelda said that Cedric was honored with an Order of the British Empire by the Queen and Prince Philip in the 1980s.
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It was also the time when her father was working on preparing a treaty between Indigenous Australians and the Commonwealth but the Queen did not talk about it in their meeting. The 46-year-old stated, “They knew full well that plans for a treaty were afoot, as there were treaties [with Indigenous people] in New Zealand and also in Canada. But what did they do? That's the source of the frustration.”
Making her point, Jacobs continued, “While the world has united in grief over the Queen's passing, colonized people have also united over their trauma. Because we know that in British museums are stolen artefacts. Stolen gems, diamonds. There are human remains that are sitting in British museums, even now. And there has been no acknowledgement of that, or apology for that.”
In addition, Jacobs supported the decision of the AFLW, the women's division of Australian Rules football, to decline keeping a minute's silence in the aftermath of the Queen’s death. She noted, “Don’t attack them. Just go, ‘You must have really listened to be able to come up with that outcome.' Just have an open mind, that’s all.”
Jacobs expressed her resentment over the monarchy in her Instagram post also as she shared a short clip while writing, “This was a very personal & difficult share on studio this morning. The photo of my dad receiving an MBE from the Queen in 1981 sat pride of place in our family home. It was a symbol of achievement.”
She penned down, “When Cedric Jacobs was forcibly removed from his family as a child, he vowed to beat the white man at his own game. Receiving his MBE must’ve felt like he’d achieved that goal.. but there was still much to do. The Queen knew Australia’s First Nations people wanted to have their sovereignty recognised. The royals would’ve have also witnessed the disadvantage of Aboriginal people stemming from colonisation. My dad had a great fondness for Queen Elizabeth. Reaction to her passing is complicated. The world is grieving for different reasons. Please don’t judge or dismiss anyone’s feelings of loss. #sovereigntyneverceded #alwayswasalwayswillbe.”
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Norman Albanese has announced September 22 “a national public holiday” after the 96-year-old monarch's death. He tweeted, “September 22nd will be a national public holiday and an opportunity for communities all over Australia to remember the Queen.” In another tweet, he added, “Due to the national period of observance for Queen Elizabeth II, Parliament will reconvene on Friday 23 September to move a condolence motion. Federal Parliament will also sit the week of 26 September.”
September 22nd will be a national public holiday and an opportunity for communities all over Australia to remember the Queen. pic.twitter.com/F6q7yYYGB1— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) September 11, 2022
Due to the national period of observance for Queen Elizabeth II, Parliament will reconvene on Friday 23 September to move a condolence motion. Federal Parliament will also sit the week of 26 September.— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) September 12, 2022