Treaty in Australia is necessary. Our collective history of dispossession is built on racism, violence, massacres, and a lack of humanity held by colonisers towards First Nations’ sovereignty and personhood. A Treaty in Australia will go some way to responding to and recognising historical and continuing injustices, and will offer a path forward for First Nations, governments, and the wider community to come together in a way that is defined by equality, respect, reparation and a mutual acknowledgement of Australian First Nations’ inalienable right to self-determination on their land. But Treaty-making should not just be about the destination: the journey should confer benefits on First Nations too.
This seminar focuses on the aspirations and solutions being considered by many Indigenous peoples across the country for how that journey can deliver for them. A framework is presented that aims to reduce the risk of negotiation fatigue, and ensure the entire process is empowering for all First Nations people. First Nations must also be supported to engage in Treaty negotiations on equal footing with government. The path to self-government outlined in the framework offers a clear means through which First Nations can progressively build their governing capacity prior to starting the Treaty negotiation process.