11 July 2018
High interest in native title meetings

SEA COUNTRY: The ALC is continuing to take seriously its role in protecting sea country around the Groote Archipelago. Independent anthropologist, Dr Scott Cane has been consulting with Anindilyakwa Traditional Owners (pictured at the new Umbakumba Cultural Centre). 

ANTHROPOLOGISTS are getting back on country to collect more information for a report to support a native title claim over sea country

The ALC and the Northern Land Council (NLC) held a series of meetings on Groote Eylandt, Bickerton Island and at Numbulwar, to discuss preparation of the native title application over the seas around Groote Eylandt and across to the mainland. 

ALC anthropologist Hugh Bland said there were still areas of uncertainty that required further fieldwork. "It is important that every site is correctly identified so we get the clan ownership of that site correct,” Hugh said. "It’s important for the claim, to get that story really tight.”

Hugh, ALC anthropologist Leslie Pyne and NLC anthropologist Shannon O’Connell, will join lead anthropologist Dr Scott Cane, an independent expert engaged by the NLC, to author the application, and travel through sea country to talk to traditional owners.

The four recent meetings also discussed what native title in the sea means for traditional owners, what area of sea country the claim will cover, which Aboriginal groups have native title rights and interests in the area and how research is being done.

Hugh said the meetings were well attended as it was an area of high interest for the Anindilyakwa people.