There will be a minority of Canberrans who seek to dismiss as tokenism this week's decision by the ACT Legislative Assembly for each sitting day to be opened with a statement of acknowledgement to country in the Ngunnawal tongue.
It is an unfortunate reality there will always be those who interpret any recognition of our indigenous community, and their ancestors who walked this country tens of thousands of years before Europeans arrived, as an attack on their own cultural prerogatives.
It is a narrative that should be roundly rejected.
This decision is particularly historic in that the form of the recognition is to be developed in consultation with leaders from the Ngunnawal community. It may also, in its own quiet way, help open the door to a more formalised recognition of Australia's indigenous community at the federal level.
Once the measure, to be enshrined in a tri-partisan motion co-sponsored by all political parties, is adopted, the ACT will become the only jurisdiction in the country to have come this far. That's worth celebrating.
That said, Canberra's legislators should not give themselves up to an excessive display of self-congratulation yet. Symbols can play an important role in creating awareness, but they need to be matched by tangible, measurable outcomes.
If this community fails to follow through then everything else we do runs the risk of dismissed as hypocrisy of the worst sort.
You can't substitute public statements and high profile gestures for real change and measurable progress. This is a point that has been made quite recently by Australia's first indigenous Indigenous Affairs Minister, Ken Wyatt, in his efforts to advance reconciliation on a broader front than just the debate over constitutional recognition.
We can't lose sight of the fact that although more than 12 years have passed since Kevin Rudd's historic and heartfelt apology from Parliament House to the stolen generations the lives of most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are little or no better, and in some cases worse, than then.
Once Australia had its feel-good moment the nation kicked the can a bit further down the road.
That is due to many factors, some simple and some complex, including multiple changes of government and a failure to engage by the broader community. Once we had our feel-good moment the nation said to itself "good job" and kicked the can a bit further down the road.
Canberrans are better than that. Now our MLAs have shown collective leadership we all need to acknowledge the huge gulf separating our indigenous one per cent from the rest of the community in Australia's most affluent, best educated and arguably most employment rich state or territory.
That gulf can be measured in dozens of different ways. A topical one, following on from this week's report on the health of the Alexander Maconochie Centre, is incarceration rates and the relative lack of opportunities for indigenous detainees, particularly women, in Australia's first "human rights" prison.
Then there are the issues of education, life expectancy and health outcomes, and employment opportunities. These are all areas in which someone can see the odds stacked against them through no fault of their own and be destined to go through life never being able to be the best version of themselves they could be.
We cannot right all the wrongs of the past. Acknowledging the rich diversity indigenous Australians bring to our society is a welcome step that helps build pride in our local languages.
But it needs to be matched by hard data that demonstrates things are improving for those members of our community.