In a late plea for a yes vote in the Indigenous voice to parliament referendum, the respected leader says he fears ‘for the future of my people’ if it is defeated

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Noel Pearson says he will walk away from advocating for a “middle path” of compromise if the voice to parliament referendum fails, claiming reconciliation would not be viable in the event of a no vote.

The longtime Indigenous activist and respected community leader says he would instead allow a new generation of Indigenous leaders to chart a different path forward.

Pearson said he fears “for the future of my people” if the referendum is defeated on Saturday, making a late plea for voters to vote yes in recognition of Australia’s history and avoid a failure he says would be “ugly as sin”.

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