...This is our country...
John Ah Kit - Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory, from the Jawoyn people:
'We need to plan now for the future, to establish economic enterprises and stand on our own two feet. We want to become independent of government and establish economic enterprises, where we can put dollars in the bank and do what we like with the money we earn off our land... I think Mabo's just a foot in the door and we're on our way. It's taken a long time, but we'll get there because, I believe, time's on our side. Governments need to realise that we've been around for a long time and we're not in a hurry to go away. This is our country.
'Apart from the direct economic and social opportunities that may accrue to some communities, native title has brought a sea change in the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the non-indigenous community that cannot be reversed. More than ever, that relationship is based on respect for Indigenous peoples' law and culture. The community is now more aware of Indigenous peoples continuing connection with their traditional lands.'
Keywords: Ah Kit, John, benefits, culture, human rights, 1994
Proof and Management of native title, workshop tapes, NTRU AIATSIS, Jan 31 - Feb 1, 1994.
Author: Strelein, Lisa
Source: Ah Kit, John