• Canberra's Aboriginal Tent Embassy (NITV News)Source: NITV News
How does the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra, erected in the 1970s, stay relevant in 2015 and well into the future? Political reporter, Myles Morgan, looks at the new rules and the new look on the lawns of Parliament House.
By
NITV News, Myles Morgan

7 Oct 2015 - 5:42 PM  UPDATED 8 Oct 2015 - 3:05 PM
TRANSCRIPT

Natalie Ahmat: It's one of our most important institutions: the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. But how does a protest site created in the seventies stay relevant?

That's the problem elders at the embassy are grappling with now. Political reporter Myles Morgan has the story.

Myles Morgan: It's nearly 44 years old but still growing up. There are new rules at the tent embassy on the lawns of Old Parliament House. And, a new outlook.

Uncle Dennis Walker: The embassy needs to go from a protest site to self governance and get those mens and womens business, which are the real engine rooms of our custodial laws, kicking in.

Myles Morgan: Uncle Dennis Walker has a long history of activism with many organisations.

He helped create the Australian arm of the Black Panther Party around the same time this embassy was created.

He says there is room on these lawns to build and attract the next generation.

Uncle Dennis Walker: It's not very complicated: resources will get that tent set up over there for the mens business and it leaves this one for women's business and start taking care of business on a national, regional and local scale.

Myles Morgan: The embassy is also planning a summit for next month which will be attended by First Nations from all over Australia.

Pat Lock, Aboriginal Tent Embassy: We want people to feel free, enjoy, come here and have a week of discussion. Call it a corroborree if it has to be because that's how we used to do it in the old ways.  

Myles Morgan: The summit will coincide with a Canberra court case Dennis Walker will appear as a witness in.

It's a minor traffic matter but it has mentioned a High Court case he was involved in where his sovereignty was not recognised.

The Embassy gathering will aim to train young Aboriginal people to push for their own sovereignty.

Pat Lock: Solid cultural training processes in order to reach our young kids which is our future; to get them out of the dilemna of today's society. The next issue we'll be shooting for is  a treaty, a solid treaty built on a solid basis.

Myles Morgan for NITV NEWS