Alyawarr Ingkerr-wenh

Bell gift from NSWLC
Banjo Morton and Frank Holmes
Part 4 Ways Forward Speeches: Opening Protest House Ampilatwatja Walk-off
Richard Downs
Desert Sevenz 'Two Wayz'
Desert Sevenz 'Two Wayz'

It's time for a treaty

Warning: this site contains images of our people who have passed away. It is their request that we continue with our struggles to claim our full rights to all Alyawarr Country.

We, Alyawarr people are asserting our right to self-determination and calling upon the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments to negotiate a treaty with us.

We are a distinct Indigenous people, living on our traditional lands. We have our own distinct culture, our own laws, our own society, our own history, our own traditions, our own language, our own livelihoods and our own visions of the future.

The current system has not worked, as we do not have the capital-base upon which to build our future, nor adequate recognition and respect from our colonisers in respect to our law and culture. The Northern Territory Emergency Response has been an abject failure on our lands: it was inappropriately applied in a blanket manner across the Northern Territory and its effect has been suffocating. Commonwealth funding is increasingly subject to leasing our inalienable land title and at the same time, the Commonwealth is withdrawing funding for outstations.

Following on from the direction given by our Elders through the Alyawarr Ingkerr-wenh consultations, Richard Downs has written to the Prime Minister calling or a treaty. To hear a recent interview with Richard on CAAMA radio, click on the link below:

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner has made some very welcome comments upon his election in regard to treaties with Aboriginal peoples:

The Forrest Report appeared to offer some hope with its recognition of the importance of 'local decision making' and 'cultural authority to set and enforce norms'. Consistent with these themes, we are seeking to re-set the relationship between us and our colonisers through:

  1. recognition that our culture and society constitutes an enrichment to Australia's collected cultures and societies, manifesting in things such as value to the tourism and pastoral industries;
  2. recognition and incorporation of Alyawarr governance arrangements;
  3. the return of our lands; and
  4. supporting resource and financial transfers.

We seek to achieve this through the negotiation of a treaty with the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments which is founded on human rights. Through a treaty, we seek to participate in Australian society within a cooperative Federal system. We note the apparent support for a treaty amongst key Federal Government members and advisers; eg, click here.