Indigenous senator in Australia told to repeat oath of allegiance after she called Queen Elizabeth 'the colonizing Her Majesty'

Senator Lidia Thorpe gestures during a division in the Senate on February 22, 2021 in Canberra, Australia.
Senator Lidia Thorpe gestures during a division in the Senate on February 22, 2021 in Canberra, Australia.  
  • An Indigenous Australian senator called the Queen a colonizer while taking an oath of allegiance.

  • Senator Lidia Thorpe's alteration of the oath prompted immediate criticism from her colleagues.

  • She was then asked to repeat the oath and complied with the instruction.

Indigenous Australian Senator Lidia Thorpe called the UK's Queen Elizabeth II a "colonizing" queen as she was sworn into parliament on Monday, adding the term to her recital of the country's oath of allegiance.

"I, sovereign, Lidia Thorpe, do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare that I will be faithful and I bear true allegiance to the colonizing Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second," she said in parliament while holding her arm up in a Black Power salute.

Thorpe was then interrupted by Labor Senate president Sue Lines, who told her to repeat the oath as printed on the card before her. Other lawmakers in the room were also heard protesting over Thorpe's actions.

"You're not a senator if you don't say it properly," one of her colleagues says off-camera.

Thorpe complied with the instruction and appeared to laugh as she pledged "true allegiance" to the Queen.

She later tweeted a photo of her holding the salute in parliament, with the caption: "Sovereignty never ceded."

Australia was colonized by the British Empire in 1788 and remained a colony until 1901, when the country gained de facto independence. The conflict between the aboriginal tribes of Australia and the nation's colonizers over land ownership led to the deaths of an estimated 20,000 Indigenous people in wars.

Thousands of other aboriginal people died due to disease and other consequences of European settlement, per the Australian War Memorial.

While Australia is no longer a British colony, it partially remains a constitutional monarchy, meaning that the Queen is still Australia's head of state.

Thorpe, a descendant of Australia's First Nations tribes, is a member of Australia's Green Party and has pushed for a widely-debated treaty between the Australian government to protect the rights of Aboriginal peoples.

Thorpe did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.


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