Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation is thrilled that today, after six years, native title has been successfully determined for Yi-Martuwarra Ngurrara, over 22,064.21 square kilometers of land in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
The consent determination was held at Ngurtuwarta Community and it means that now, people who are part of the Yi-Martuwarra Ngurrara group can leverage their native title rights to manage country in a way that aligns with their cultural and heritage values.
There are many cross-overs between members of Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation and Yi-Martuwarra Ngurrara and by June 30, 2018, Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation will be the representative Prescribed Body Corporate for the group and will manage all operational activities.
Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation’s CEO Peter Murray, says that by standing together, Walmajarri people are much stronger.
“When it comes to delivering positive programs for Walmajarri people everyone needs to be on the same page. That’s the only way we can go forward. Bringing everyone in under Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation means we have a strong base to create economic development and to guide development on our country,” Mr Murray says.
The Yi-Martuwarra Ngurrara native title area covers Aboriginal communities, pastoral leases, mining leases and part of the Fitzroy Crossing township, meaning a key focus over the next twelve months will be strengthening partnerships.
“Traditional Owners need to be at the table when it comes to any development proposals on our country—especially development along the Fitzroy River. We don’t want to be left out. We do want to be considered as equal. With the consent determination now in place we’re willing to work with all pastoral owners and communities for the benefit of the whole area,” Mr Murray says.
Yanunijarra Aboriginal Corporation would like to thank all those who contributed to the successful recognition of Yi-Martuwarra Ngurrara native title, including Traditional Owners, state and federal governments, pastoralists and the Kimberley Land Council.