Delay to overcome

14 08 2009

SWALSC: South-West Land and Sea Council – a body set up to represent the Nyoongar peoples’ Native Title Claim.

SWALSC is not yet issuing letters confirming lineage.

This is a delay, because:
A Native Title Claim can only proceed when Nyoongar descendants can prove their lineage back to the land in question. This can be done by public lineage records. Then once SWLASC recognises these records, they should write a letter to the claimant saying “yes we’ll represent you, because you have bonafide lineage to this land.”

The letters also provide a clear way we whitefellas can be confident of who we need to direct protocol to. Then we can proceed with the Protocol ceremony & symbol, & listening e-list.

BUT… SWLASC are not issuing the letters yet. So we can’t get on with the protocols.
That’s the delay to overcome now.

I’ve heard that SWALSC’s argument for the delay, is that by recognising lineage to ‘Whadjuk‘ lands in particular, they think that might somehow get in the way of a single claim for the Nyoongar peoples in general.

If that is SWALSC’s concern, they need to get over it, and accept nation-specific lineage: because everyone with lineage to land has to establish their link to particular specific land in a specific nation (Whadjuk is one of some 14 nations under the Nyoongar general area.) They will need to do that in order to make their single claim anyway. So in fact issuing the letters is the only way to bring SWALSC closer to the single claim anyway. It’s “both-and”, not “either-or.” (Both local lineage letters – and Single claim.)

So pray that common sense prevails asap, so that we can

  1. get the letters,
  2. have clarity on who elders are,
  3. go ahead and recognise protocols

For respect, justice, & peace




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