As NAIDOC Week draws to a close tomorrow, you may wish to reflect on this prayer from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) Leadership Gathering in November 1995,
Father our Creator You created all things, seen and unseen,
Listen to my silent prayer as I stand here before you.
As my weary eyes look back over distant horizons,
Back to those days where my people walked. The footprints of my grandfathers are imprinted on the earth and their images become real to me.
I see my Grandfathers standing tall and strong, warriors of long ago. I hear them singing, I see them dancing, and my spirit moves within me.
They told me of the emus fighting; picking the scent of our hunters.
The images fade away as I feel the hurt of my people.
I can hear the cries of my Grandmothers as they cry for their children.
Grandfather, You can see me as I stand here and feel this hurt.
Father Creator, is this the purpose of my being here? Or is it your plan to reshape my people to be once again the proud race it once was?
Let me walk with you and my Grandfathers towards the dawning of a proud and new nation.
I thank you for my Sacred Being. Amen.
NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to come together to celebrate not only Indigenous achievement but the history, rich culture, and survival of the oldest continuing living culture on the planet.
This year’s theme, ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years.
The revised November dates for NAIDOC Week 2020 follow its postponement from the original July dates due to the impacts and uncertainty from the escalating Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With thanks to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC).