Landmark treaty report recommends First Nation government system for Indigenous Territorians

The Northern Territory government has released a landmark treaty report, outlining a pathway to self-determination for Aboriginal people through legally binding treaties.

If its recommendations are honoured, the report could lay the foundation for significant new decision-making powers for Indigenous people, who make up a third of the territory’s population.

The 180-page document, released after years of consultation, says the fundamental aim of any treaty agreements should be to give Indigenous people as much self-determination as possible.

The report recommends a process for Indigenous people to transition to First Nation governments.

Acting Treaty Commissioner and respected Indigenous barrister Tony McAvoy, who stepped into the role last December, said that would in turn ease high rates of disadvantage.

“When Aboriginal communities [and] Aboriginal organisations design and deliver the services for Aboriginal people, those services are the most effective at that time,” the Wirdi man said.

Barunga dancing
The treaty document was inked in the remote community of Barunga in 2018.(ABC News: Felicity James)

“What these recommendations do is allow for Aboriginal governments to deliver services to their communities.

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