Australian Republic Movement

Today a joint statement was issued by representatives of First Nations, Indigenous peoples and advocacy groups from 12 Commonwealth countries calling on King Charles III to acknowledge the genocide and horrific impacts of colonisation on the indigenous people of Antigua and Barbuda, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The representatives have also formally called for an apology from King Charles III and for a process of reparatory justice to commence with five specific requests, including that King Charles:

1. start the conversation about slavery’s enduring impact;

2. commit to discussions about reparations and the redistribution of wealth acquired by the Crown back to those from whom it was stolen;

3. commit to the repatriation of all remains that reside in UK museums and institutions;

4. return all cultural artefacts and treasures stolen from the Indigenous populations while under the ‘protection’ of the British Crown; and

5. commit the Royal Family to acknowledge and adopt the renunciation of the “Doctrine of Discovery” made by Pope Francis in April 2023 and start the process of consultation and reparations for First Peoples who suffered under the fulfilment of that doctrine ‘in the name of God.’

Australian Republic Movement Co-Chair Nova Peris OAM OLY said that this was a difficult but important message for the King to hear, and the representatives would be launching a petition to put pressure on Charles to act.

“We know this may be a tough conversation for the Royal Family, but change begins with listening. We are asking King Charles III for an apology, reparation and the repatriation of our artifacts and remains,” said Ms Peris.

“King Charles has publicly acknowledged his personal sorrow at the suffering of so many. We are calling on him to also acknowledge the horrific and enduring impacts of the legacy of genocide and colonisation on Indigenous and enslaved peoples.

“We hope this statement and petition begins a process towards justice” said Ms Peris.

A copy of the full statement is available here.

The petition can be found here.

/Public Release. View in full here.