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Racism, health and constitutional recognition

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Constitutional recognition is the next step to building a healthier nation, says the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association

The impacts of racism are significant,1 they matter, and racism is rightfully acknowledged as a determinant of health for Indigenous populations worldwide.2 Recent research shows that experiences of racism and discrimination remain prevalent in Australia, through race-hate talk, race-based exclusion and physical attack.3 Correspondingly, there is evidence associating racism with poor outcomes in contemporary and historical contexts, via colonisation and oppression.4

From before birth, we are connected to family, community, culture and place. These interactions continue through life to form relationships which are crucial to belonging and to the construction of identity. This includes relationships with people and place, such as the actions and responses of others. Knowing about your own history and culture elucidates contemporary cultural ways of being, by providing a connection to the knowledge of ancestors. These connections are viewed as protective factors and contribute to building a strong sense of self and identity.5

Protective factors are inextricably linked to health and wellbeing, making the protection and promotion…