Indigenous leaders and community elders have launched a new video campaign, urging the government to fulfil Bob Hawke's 26-year-old promise of a land rights treaty for Indigenous Australians.
By
Tara Callinan

Source:
NITV News
20 Aug 2014 - 4:43 PM  UPDATED 20 Aug 2014 - 7:00 PM

"This could mean a binding legal contract to ensure Aboriginal peoples have the certainty acquired to obtain real self-determination," said First Nations elder Graeme Mundine.

The video, posted on YouTube, encompasses the long history of Aboriginal struggle, from the beginnings of dispossession to the 2007 Northern Territory intervention.

"Power has been taken off the people in all the communities and I don’t think they have the right to do that. We have our own laws and it has been since the beginning," said First Nations elder Dhanggal Gurruwiwi.

His comments come as remote Northern Territory communities are now being asked to hand over their townships to the government for a period of 99 years in a leasehold arrangement.

Aboriginal elder Rosalie Kunoth-Monks said the lack of a land rights treaty has continued to damage relations between Indigenous Australians and the wider community.

"How much longer do we have to pay the price of being blacks of this country? How much longer to we have to keep coming cap in hand?"

The push by sovereignty campaigners for a treaty comes amid renewed debate over consitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians.

As Qantas decides to fly the big "R" alongside the iconic kangaroo, conservative commentator Andrew Bolt has labelled the campaign R for "racist".