More Good News from Australia

From Cultural Survival:
On April 9 the administration of Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that it was open to the idea of reversing the burden of proof requirements for Aboriginal groups pursuing land claims. Until now, the burden of proof was on Aboriginal groups to prove an ongoing connection to their land, which was often difficult because they had been forced off the land through colonization and government policies. But the chief justice of the High Court, Robert French, has recommended that the process be changed to presume that Indigenous Peoples have "continuous existence and vitality since sovereignty." Under this policy, the government would have to prove otherwise. The change would represent a fundamental shift in relations with Indigenous Peoples and make it far easier for Aboriginal groups to reclaim their lands.
The Rudd government also announced on April 3 that the country will endorse the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The decision to support the declaration came on the heels of Rudd's recent speech apologizing to Aborigines for the government's former policy of forcibly removing Aboriginal children from their families and placing them with white families or institutions. 

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