Non-Indigenous Australians were using Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country rituals as virtue signalling exercises, an Aboriginal elder has claimed.
Narungga elder Kerry White said the rituals, as they were now being used, demeaned Aboriginal people and made a mockery of their traditions.
“It's an attack on our culture because it is not being used correctly,” she told Sky News on Sunday night.
“(It) was only used when Aboriginal elders welcomed other Aboriginals onto their land for negotiation talks. They didn't use it every day, it was a ceremonial process.
“So, they've taken our ceremonial process and demeaned it by throwing it out there every day in every aspect of what Australian people do. And I think that is culturally wrong.”
White, who has worked extensively in Aboriginal health as a nurse, also criticised use of the generic word ‘indigenous’ as being insulting to Aboriginal people.
“They come up with all these politically correct things they keep calling us which is actually an insult to us and to our culture,” she said.
“Indigenous actually means native to this country, so anyone born in Australia is indigenous to this country.
“So that creates problems when you are talking about the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, which means anybody born in Australia can go on that Voice, so they are not truly representing people like the Aboriginal people of Australia.”
She said the term ‘First Nations’ was also inaccurate.
“The First Nation term they use for us, that is Canadian it is not Australian. It is not who we are as a people,” she said.
White recently told The Spectator magazine that the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament was the project “tick-a-box” city-dwelling Aboriginals.
“We, the Aboriginal people from rural and remote Australia do not want it (the Voice),' she said.
“A bit over two hundred years ago, they rounded Aboriginal people up and locked them on missions.
“So Aboriginal people were segregated from White society.
“Then we come forward to now – ‘The Voice’ – and they’re segregating us again. They’re taking us back two hundred years.
“You’re dividing the country again, it’s back to segregation. And frankly, it’s racist towards our White brothers and sisters that live in this land with us.”