Yangkunytjatjara and Matutjara language speakers will tomorrow celebrate the first native title determination in the south of the Northern Territory.
At a special sitting of the Federal Court, Justice Reeves will hand down a consent determination over an area of approximately 12,500 square kilometres at the border with South Australia.
The area, which includes some of the region’s most spectacular landscapes, comprises the pastoral leases of Victory Downs, Mt Cavenagh, Mulga Park and Umbeara.
They will continue to operate as cattle stations.
The native title holders are associated with significant places such as Ananta (Umbeara), Kalka (Old Kulgera Station, now part of Umbeara), Watju (Mt Cavenagh), Wapirrka (Victory Downs) and Warnkula (Mulga Park).
They are travelling from South Australia, Western Australia and the Territory to the ceremony at Victory Downs, which starts at 10:30 AM on Thursday, 4 May.
Central Land Council chair Francis Kelly is joining them for the celebrations.
“I am very happy for the families and look forward to congratulating them all,” Mr Kelly said.
He said the determinations recognise the rights to hunt and gather on the land and waters and to conduct cultural activities and ceremonies.
“It will also give the native title holders the right to negotiate about exploration, mining and tourism activities on their land,” he said.
The claim area was the first native title application the CLC lodged in the south of its region and is the second-largest area in its region to have native tile recognised.
2017 is shaping up to be a big year in native title for the CLC, with three consent determinations handed down in April and another two expected before the end of the year.