The Nanda people have been formally recognised by the Federal Court as the native title holders of more than 17,000 square kilometres of land in WA.
A 24-year legal battle has finally ended with the Nanda people recognised as the native title holders of more than 17,000 square kilometres of land and water in Western Australia's Mid West region.
The determination area covers the tourist town of Kalbarri, Kalbarri National Park, the Zuytdorp Nature Reserve and the Toolonga Nature Reserve.
Federal Court Justice Debbie Mortimer held an on-country hearing at the Kalbarri foreshore on Wednesday to deliver her judgment.
Nanda Aboriginal Corporation chairman Carrum Mourambine said the hearing was emotional because some Elders had died since the original claim.
"(They) were not here to witness this historic occasion," he said.
"This determination means that we can continue to pass on our knowledge of culture and traditional customs to future generations."
The Nanda people native title claim is a combination of two claims.
The first was lodged with the National Native Title Tribunal in 1994 and the second came two years later, then they were combined in 2000.
The determination was by consent, which means it was reached by agreement with other parties to the claim, including the state government.
"The court's determination will preserve, protect and recognise in contemporary Australian law what the Nanda people already know, and have always known, about their connection by traditional law and custom to their country," Justice Mortimer said in her judgment.
"They are to be admired for their persistence and determination, in light of the many obstacles facing Aboriginal people and their communities."