'I am an Aboriginal woman. Don't ask me to mourn the Queen's death.'

Listen to this story being read by Natasha Lucas, here. 

My birth as an Aboriginal woman is already a political act. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to tick "Aboriginal" on forms, ones that I don't even understand the relevance. 

I am born a statistic. Even now, my 11-year-old daughter was recently told to self-exclude during the national anthem because she wouldn't stand and sing, in fear that it would encourage others. This is what comes from Australia's deep colonial roots that this country refuses to acknowledge or dismantle.  

I was respectful enough to listen to the five-minute speech given by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese where he detailed the 16 visits the Queen made to Australia. On her first visit as reigning Queen, it is estimated she met 70 per cent of the population - Aboriginal people were discreetly kept away. It has been well documented and worth noting that the Queen would visit a further four times whilst the White Australia policy was still enacted.

Our experiences in Australia are vastly different. 

Watch: What country means to Indigenous people. Story continues below.

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As an Aboriginal woman, I can remember one of the only funny memories of my Pop, who was a part of the Stolen Generation. He was a man of very few words. But I do remember him saying he hoped he would make it to 100 years old so he could wipe his behind with his letter from the crown.   


This is an institution that has done very little to make reparations with Aboriginal people.

There are still thousands of Aboriginal artifacts and the bodies of thousands of Aboriginal people in the United Kingdom, including Pemulwuy - an Aboriginal warrior whose skull was preserved in a jar and eventually buried. After a plea from Aboriginal elders there was an attempt to recover the skull, but it has never been recovered.

The fierce resistance against the crown by Aboriginal people during the Frontier Wars is met with their spirits being stuck in a foreign land, and their own customs and protocols around death not being respected. Their families, 230 years on, are not able to have closure. 

On the morning of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, I read a poem someone had written about her passing. I heard people on the radio on the way to work crying and I heard the Queen described by multiple people as someone who felt like a grandmother to them.

Online, I could see many people chastising others for not having enough respect when people shared their own perspectives. I was told I am not a leader. I was told I am disrespectful. Mostly I was told that it was not the day to say anything oppositional about a woman who was clearly complicated.   

If this is not the perfect time, then when is?


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Aboriginal people have been waiting 230 years. The weight of responsibility is on us as Aboriginal people to ensure that reparations are made - that what is ours is returned, rightfully.

While I think that clip of the Queen watching on at the races is cute, like others do, she still represented the institution that continues to oppress Aboriginal people.

Going into the reign of King Charles, it's time we demand truth-telling. If I'm expected to respect the traditions of the monarchy, it's only fair that the traditions of Aboriginal people are respected too.  

If we can crown a man who once wanted to be tampon, I'm sure at the very least the remains of Aboriginal people and our artifacts can be returned to us.

Our ties to the monarchy and colonialism will always be deeply rooted in this country's history. 

The sovereignty of Aboriginal people and the crown cannot co-exist. The Queen is unfortunately collateral damage in an issue that goes all the way back to 1877.

Do not police my feelings on something I was born to oppose. I am a proud Euahlayi yinarr woman.

While I will not mourn the Queen's death, I will certainly not celebrate it either. 

True celebration will only come when the sovereignty of Aboriginal people is finally recognised in this country.

Feature Image: Supplied.