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    Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks to the media during a press conference at the conclusion of the G-20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014

    Australia's Abbott Plans Aboriginals Constitutional Acknowledgement in 2017

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    A 1967 referendum with a 90.77-percent Yes vote has allowed for the unique status of Aboriginal people in Australia. However, the Aboriginal people remain unacknowledged by the Australian constitution.

    MOSCOW, December 12 (Sputnik) — Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that constitutional acknowledgment of Aboriginals is a must, and that a referendum on the issue should be held in 2017.

    “Our most serious failure as a nation has been our difficulty in acknowledging the people we displaced. So I am a supporter of constitutional recognition. I hope that it [referendum] might happen on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, the 27th of May, 2017. That would be a richly symbolic time to complete our constitution,” Abbott stated in a video on Thursday.

    Abbott made the statement at a dinner to raise funds for the referendum. He noted that Australia needs to abandon its “them and us mindset.”

    “It is high time that this reality was finally recognized in our constitution,” Abbott added.

    Later, Abbott took to Twitter to further promote the referendum movement.

    "Let's get behind this incredibly important cause #ConstitutionalRecognition,” Abbott tweeted.

    Until 1967, the Australian constitution did not allow for the unique status of Aboriginal people nor did it include Aboriginal people in the census. A 1967 referendum with a 90.77-percent Yes vote changed this. According to the National Archives of Australia, it was the highest recorded Yes vote in a federal referendum. However, the Aboriginal people remain unacknowledged by the Australian constitution.

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    constitution, aboriginals, referendum, Tony Abbott, Australia
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