Twitter released new emojis recently in honor of Australia’s Aboriginal peoples. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flag icons were introduced, in part, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of “National Sorry Day,” an observance commemorating the 1967 referendum that removed all references to Aboriginal peoples from the nation’s constitution. The move also came during the same week in which hundreds of Aboriginal leaders flocked to Uluru to demand that the Australian government officially, constitutionally re-recognize them.
Uluru, also known as “Ayers Rock,” is a massive monolith, made of sandstone, that lies within the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre.” The giant stone is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and is sacred to indigenous Australians.
So, a modern corporate tech giant is recognizing an ancient people (while burnishing its own reputation?). Interesting. Neither Aborigines nor Torres Strait Islanders could ever have imagined getting their own icon(s) on an I-Phone 7 while sitting around the fire many Millenia ago.
But, really, what are emojis but an updated pictogram or petroglyph?
Welcome back to the future, Aboriginal peoples.
You’ve come a long way, indeed.