Australian news, and some related international items

40 year fight for land claim- win for Yanyuwa people, in Gulf of Carpentaria

Aboriginal land claim success in Gulf of Carpentaria after 40-year battle, Guardian,  in Darwin, 6 May 15  Deed of grant handed to the Yanyuwa people, covering four islands and Batten Point, at Jawuma near Borroloola, correcting omission in first land grant After a near 40-year fight, the final 200 hectares of a contentious Aboriginal land claim has been handed back to traditional owners in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

On Tuesday the Indigenous affairs minister, Nigel Scullion, delivered a deed of grant to the Yanyuwa people, covering four small islands and Batten Point, at Jawuma near Borroloola.

The land rights claim – Australia’s first – was initially lodged in 1977, rejected and then reclaimed in 1992. However, when the title was finally handed over in 2006 a portion was “inadvertently omitted”.

“The land around Jawuma is of great cultural and historical significance for the Yanyuwa people of the area and I am pleased the title is now back with its rightful owners,” Scullion said.

“The handover of the land title will mean that local Yanyuwa families will once again be in a position to choose how the land is used. I applaud the Yanyuwa people for the journey they have undertaken to have their land and their culture recognised.”

A Yanyuwa woman and SBS journalist, Malarndirri McCarthy, told Guardian Australia that Wednesday’s ceremony was “incredibly significant for the conclusion of a very, very long journey for the Yanyuwa people and the surrounding clan groups”.

The 38-year battle had “really paralysed the progress of the region in terms of empowering the traditional owners”.

McCarthy, also a former Northern Territory minister, was among those who gave evidence to the land commissioner in 1992 at the second attempt to reclaim the land. The 1977 hearing had been held in the old Borroloola police station, which caused anxiety for those giving evidence……………

May 9, 2015 - Posted by | General News

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