The Alyawarr region is surrounded by other Aboriginal peoples and diplomatic relations are a feature of traditional society. Alyawarr language is an Arandic language and many Alyawarr customs and laws (such as its skin system) are compatible with those of other Arandic and Warlpiri peoples.
Close relations extend to the Kaytetye, Anmatyerr, Akarr (Eastern Arrernte), Akay (Wakaya), Aremeng (Waramungu) and Alper (Warlpiri) peoples and our borders often overlap.
One such treaty-like agreement exists in relation to Kwarl-Kwarl ('Karlu Karlu' or 'Devils Marbles'), which is a sacred place to the Alyawarr, Warlpiri, Warrumungu and Kaytetye peoples. It is a place where we have historically conducted, and continue to conduct ceremonies and meetings.
A treaty-like arrangement, concluded through ceremonies, was also entered into with the Bularnu and Warluwarra peoples around Ilperrelhelame (Alpurrurulam) before they died out (c. 1920-1950, mostly from disease).
Similar arrangements are envisaged with our traditional neighbours if a treaty between Alyawarr people and the Australian and Northern Territory governments is made.
It is also expected that the rights and interests of neighbouring Aboriginal peoples will be protected at law. In regard to the Nisga'a Agreement in British Columbia:
- The Agreement will not affect the rights of other Aboriginal Peoples. If an Aboriginal People can show, in court, that their rights are adversely affected by this Agreement, the Agreement will operate to the extent that it does not impact those other rights. The parties will try to amend the Agreement where provisions are made invalid because they affect the rights of other Aboriginal Peoples.
[Nisga'a Plain Language Summary, p.2]
The disposition and commitment of the Alyawarr people is to maintain good relations with our neighbouring Aboriginal brothers and sisters and to govern over portions of land containing overlapping interests in good faith to those other interests.