The struggle for indigenous recognition was fought by Indigenous people of Cape York before the incorporation of Cape York Land Council. The Land Council’s inception didn’t take place because of government funding. It was the very real struggle of the Wik people who made it possible. The families of Aurukun put their monies into establishing a body that would represent them in their fight to achieve outcomes. Today, the Cape York Land Council is a powerful brand. It is a brand that reflects struggle, honour, pride, strength. All of this started at a time when our voices as individuals did not yield power. However, united as the Honourable Minister Nigel Scullion described it at the Cape York Summit (September 2017) ‘a most powerful, an irresistible voice’.
Over the past three decades, Cape York Land Council has honoured that vision and realised the dreams of our elders with native title determinations over more than 50% of Cape York. One Claim has seen the remaining Aboriginal lands under Native Title Claim and currently before the Federal Courts.
The Land Council will continue to provide a voice to those who have not had their native title rights determined and will continue to support those who have recognition of Aboriginal lands to build strong, grass roots ownership.
I believe that United Cape York Pama have the power to create change and build vibrant, strong, independent communities for future generations. Our brand attracts corporate and government interest. We must harness this together to achieve the dreams of today’s families for tomorrows children.
Richie Ah Mat – Chairperson
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