Northern Territory Government Newsroom

NT Government and Land Councils agree on MoU for Treaty

The Northern Territory Government and the NT’s four land council’s recently met in Alice Springs to discuss the delivery of treaty. 

Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Assistant Ministers for Aboriginal Affairs Chansey Paech and Selena Uibo met with representatives of the Northern, Central, Tiwi and Anindilyakwa Land Councils. 

This was a historic meeting and was the first of its kind between a Territory government and all four Land Councils.

The NT Government and Land Councils have agreed to establish the Treaty Working Group, which will develop an MoU in time for signing at this year’s Barunga Festival on Friday June 8th.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said it was time for a treaty process to empower traditional owners, to acknowledge dispossession and give decision-making powers to Aboriginal Territorians.

“We want to deliver the first ever treaty between a Northern Territory Government and the original owners of the Northern Territory.” Mr Gunner said

“Treaty should acknowledge that dispossession of Aboriginal land has taken place and that Aboriginal Territorians have been subject to injustices.

“The NT is the birthplace of the treaty movement and it’s time we made treaty a reality. 

“We need to ensure that any treaty process we undergo is meaningful and the input from Land Councils is crucial to getting it right. This working group will help drive the process.

This year’s Barunga festival will mark the 30th anniversary of the presentation of the Barunga Statement to Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who promised a treaty with Aboriginal people.

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