Australia’s referendum on Indigenous recognition

Within three years, the country will hold a referendum on the question of formally recognizing Indigenous Australians in the Constitution, a government minister announced on Wednesday, reports The New York Times.

The government said it would commit more than $100 million to holding the referendum but didn’t provide details on what would be included in the proposal.

Background: In 2017, Indigenous leaders proposed a road map to formal recognition and representation that included forming a new government agency to serve as an advisory board. The plan was rejected by the prime minister at the time, Malcolm Turnbull.

Impact: The referendum marks a significant step for Indigenous Australians, who have been subjected to decades of discriminatory government policies that included internment, forced sterilization and the removal of children from their families.

Today, the community experiences higher rates of incarceration, youth suicide and illness than white Australians.