clan elders’ statement on treaty
The Inaugural Clan Elders Council on Treaty was held at the Victorian Parliament 14 May 2018
The Elders gave a collectively devised, unanimously agreed upon statement regarding Treaty, Sovereignty, and the rights of First Peoples, as follows:
We Clan Elders, gathered at the Victorian Parliament House in Melbourne, meeting on the land of the Kulin First Nation, coming from places across the land now known as Victoria, make this statement:
Our Clans and Nations are the first Sovereign Peoples of the land now known as Victoria. We have existed on our land from the beginning of time. Our culture and connection to Country remain strong.
Our sovereignty has never been ceded or extinguished.
We seek justice and reparations for past and present wrongs and truth telling about our history.
We long for a chance to create peace and prosperity for our children based on self-determination, freedom and economic independence.
We acknowledge and welcome that the Victorian Government has begun a process for advancing Treaty for all Victorians.
We believe that the treaty consultation process so far has been flawed and failed to engage with the Sovereign Clans and First Nations.
We call for a Treaty process that respects and acknowledges our Clans’ sovereignty, our culture and our inherent rights. Our sovereignty, and each of the 38 language groups and 300 Clans, must be clearly recognised in the Government’s Treaty Advancement legislation.
We assert our right to self-determination, and free, prior and informed consent regarding any decisions that affect us.
We call for our rightful place and voice in all decision making that advances the treaty process.
– Inaugural Clan Elders Council on Treaty
14 May 2018