I often wonder if the visionary Elders who forged the path for Native title back in the 1980’s and 1990’s could have ever contemplated that we would have 55% of the Cape’s native title determined and be making a push for the remainder to be resolved through the One Claim process?
As we have worked through these determinations the world has also continued to change and with it, our purpose has evolved with it. The Traditional owners that we proudly represent have sought our assistance to ensure that not only are their Native title rights restored, but that the ongoing wellbeing of their communities and their economic prospects are protected and supported.
To that end, we have dedicated significant resources to the support of Prescribed Body Corporates (PBC’s) in economic development, legal support and administrative resourcing. We are also committed to the drive for autonomy and sustainability that is the passion piece for many PBCs.
While change is constant, it is no less intimidating. We have learned through the journey so far that societal, political and economic pressures can often conspire to make the path to your legal rights a treacherous one. We are committed to being there through the winds of change that continue to blow and to use our unity and strong voice to advocate for what is right, even when times are at their toughest.
I can only reiterate the words of Chairman Ah Mat and the sentiment of the board in saying that ALL Traditional owners must be empowered to make decisions for country, and through this process – we are very close to making that dream a reality.