White leaders have always sought to simplify Indigenous responses to top-down propositions. Perhaps that’s why they don’t understand the Referendum Council’s recommendations for a voice in parliament

  • Paul Daley is a Guardian Australia columnist

There are many Indigenous Australias, multiple nations whose immediate country is as diverse as the tongues in which they speak.

Some politicians don’t understand that – never really have. Since colonial days they wanted to deal with a “chief” – or however else they might term a leader – who might strike a deal with them supposedly on behalf of all others. You know, vast tracts of land and water in exchange for axes, flour and tobacco?

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