Empowering Traditional Owners

The Assembly is pushing for a state-wide Treaty that will cover state-wide matters. We’ll also be pushing to make sure the diverse Traditional Owner groups in Victoria are empowered to negotiate their own Treaties that reflect their specific aspirations and priorities.

The place we now call Victoria has been the home of various Nations for countless generations. Each with our own traditions, language and stories. Treaty wont take a one-size-fits-all approach – we need to make sure all Traditional Owners can follow their own path to Treaty.

“While targeted, issue-specific, reform can cast discrete beams of light into our lives, only deep structural change can remove the shadow of Colonisation. We know what we need – we need the freedom and power to make the decisions that affect us.”

— Marcus Stewart, Assembly Co-Chair.

State-wide and Traditional Owner Treaties

In a state-wide Treaty, we will negotiate significant changes to Victoria’s structures and systems of government to achieve greater control over our own lives and destinies.

For example, Treaties between Indigenous peoples and governments in New Zealand and Canada cover things like:

  • the recognition of historic wrongs,
  • commitments to enable self-determination and self-government (see Meaningful Voice)
  • rights to manage land and resources, health, education, and economic development, and
  • the ability to practice and revitalise culture, language and heritage.

Recognised Traditional Owners can build on the work of the state-wide Treaty by negotiating their own Traditional Owner Treaty with the Victorian Government that focuses on specific topics of their choosing.

For example, Traditional Owner Treaties, might include things like:

  • Traditional relationships with land and waters
  • Culture and language
  • Economic underpinnings for caring for Country
  • Land and water hand backs and entitlements
  • National Park management
  • Economic development opportunities

The scope and ground-rules for future Treaty making will be defined by the ‘Treaty Negotiation Framework’ that the Assembly is currently developing based on Community direction. So if you have ideas, please enrol with us and have your say!