It is well known in Australian history that Captain James Cook and his crew spend time on the mainland of Australia’s far North in 1770 while they repaired their ship called Endeavour.
Cook named Endeavour river after the ship. He also claimed possession of the whole Eastern coast of Australia for Britain.
When I first arrived in Cooktown I was very much surprised to find that there is a Cooktown Re-enactment Association who re-enact Captain Cook’s arrival EVERY YEAR. White men dress up in British outfits and come into land from the sea and Aboriginal people continue to play a part on the land.
Looking at this event from an Australian Indigenous perspective (as much as I possibly can) I imagine it would rub dirt into a raw wound. When Captain Cook first arrived this marked the invasion of the land the the destruction of the Indigenous culture.
So, Australia made an apology “SORRY” to Indigenous people and then put in CLOSE THE GAP policies which are aimed to help and support Indigenous people to fit better into white man’s society. Yet they continue to re-enact what is referred to as invasion day? Some how this doesn’t seem right.
When is it going to be time that the white man turns and looks at the Indigenous culture as ancient, wise and filled with knowledge?
True. The culture has been tainted quite deeply with white man’s perspective at this point – but surely someone can sit with the remaining Elders of different tribes and really learn the value of Indigenous culture.
I didn’t go to the re-enactment.