• The sandstone rock formations in Rainbow Valley ablaze in setting sunlight. (AAP)Source: AAP
Aboriginal families have celebrated in Central Australia after winning a claim to their picturesque traditional lands.
NITV Staff Writer

9 May 2019 - 2:45 PM  UPDATED 9 May 2019 - 2:45 PM

The Imarnte people have been granted native title over the Rainbow Valley, an outback reserve renowned for its beautiful sandstone bluffs.

The Federal Court granted unconditional access to 25 sq km of land for hunting, camping and traditional ceremonies.

The Central Land Council says the area contains sacred sites and holds “great cultural significance” to the local Aboriginal community.

The reserve has been jointly managed by the Imarnte land holding group and the NT Parks and Wildlife Commission since 2005.

The native title claim was approved quickly after it was lodged last year by authorised applicants Eric Braedon and Peter Kenny.

In many cases native title decisions take decades.

Native title holders will exercise their rights through the Wura Aboriginal Corporation.

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The decision, handed down on Tuesday by Federal Court judge Edward Reeves, was welcomed by the Aboriginal Elders who attended a ceremony on the land.

“This determination of Native Title is important,” Justice Reeves said.

“It will guide the conduct of the current and future generations of the Imarnte people and their neighbours in their ongoing cooperative relationships with respect to his land.”

Mr Braeden, an Aboriginal Elder, shook the judge’s hand and said he was delighted with the decision.

“It is very important to me,” he said.

"We have waited for something like this to happen for a long time."

Mr Kenny said he felt “very proud” that Traditional Owners won recognition.

“With NT Parks and Wildlife, we have done a lot of work on this place, we are part of the decision-making and we hope that more tourists come in,” he said.

Mary Kenny-Le Rossignol, a Traditional Owner who is part of extensive Southern Arrernte family, said it was important that the inter-generational connection to country was recognised.

“I think is it very important that they decided to give us this Native Title because before, we were not sure, whether we were allowed to come here or not. Now we know we can. It give us more ownership."

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