Today the Victorian Greens are releasing ten guiding principles to help shape the state’s Treaty process, centred on the importance of a Clan-based approach, and launching a Treaty campaign in response to the introduction of the Government’s ‘Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018’ in parliament.
The Greens will stand with Clan Elders and the Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group to announce the formation of the Clan Elders Council on Treaty.
Elders are the law/lore of their Clans, so they must be central to the negotiation if Victoria’s treaty process is to result in real, tangible benefits to the state’s First Peoples.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs, Lidia Thorpe.
“The Greens are supporting the Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group to convene a Clan Elders Council on Treaty. The Elders Council will be the voice of authority on the Treaty Process.
“Treaties are no solution if they are not done right and they don’t deliver for the grass roots communities. Treaties are not an administrative process the Government must wade through or can fast track for its own convenience. Unfortunately, that is exactly the approach the Government has taken so far.
“The Greens will work with and support the Clans and Elders every step of the way on this treaties journey. We must help ensure they get a proper voice, justice and fair redress for the atrocities committed against them.
“For the First Peoples of this land, Treaties are about true self-determination, justice and reparations so they have land and resources to be self-reliant. Proper Treaties and the processes to achieve them must be self-determined by the Clans.”
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam.
“The Greens strongly welcome the Victorian Government committing to a Treaties process with the First Peoples of this land. This is a historic process and we must get it right.”
“Australia is the only Commonwealth country without a Treaty agreement with its First Peoples. Addressing this injustice is well overdue.”
Quotes attributable to Gary Murray, Elder of the Bright based Dhudhuroa language group and Executive Member of the Victorian Traditional Owners Land Justice Group.
“We want justice for the atrocities committed against us. We want a Treaties and a land rights process that allows us to heal and move forward, to feel free and respected in our own Country.”
“Elders and Clans are the heart of any Treaty process, but so far the Government has side-lined us in their consultations and failed to allocate any resources for the 6000 Elders in Victoria and southern NSW. We will not stand for this. We with our networks are taking back the process by forming a Clan Elders Council on Treaty.”
“Treaties must be with the sovereign Peoples of the land - the Clans. Clans belong to Country. Clans our extended family groups with traditional lands, language, ancestors and descendants, customs, lore and culture. The Victorian Government must consult with and negotiate with the Elders, who are the law in our culture.”
For more information go to: www.treaty.org.au