NT government move forward on Treaty and Truth Telling.

Treaty as a priority

A question I’ve been asking leaders in the Treaty space is if they feel that by prioritising the ‘Voice to Parliament’ campaign time has been wasted by not working on the Treaty and legislating Truth Telling in federal policy. It’s a big discussion but necessary to take into consideration the current NLP parties in the states and territories not showing Bi-partisan support for Treaty and Truth Telling.

This year the Northern Territory Labor government will continue to work on the ‘Statement from the Heart’ framework and take the next steps towards Treaty and Treaties in line with the recommendations handed down in the 2023 NT Treaty Commission Final Report.
The Northern Territory Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty Chancey Paech says the results of the ‘Voice to Parliament’ referendum did not go the way the NT Labor government would have liked and to move forward they are offering registrations for a Leadership and Governance Forum and two Treaty Symposiums in Alice Springs and Darwin in April.

Treaty Commission Final Report Recommendations

In accordance with recommendations 2 & 3 handed down by Tony McAvoy SC in the NT Treaty Commission Final report, The Leadership and Governance forum will include input from the four statutory Land Councils to draft an MOU to develop a new Treaty and Truth Commission Act and a draft First Nations Self Government Bill.

Tony McAvoy explains that not all community members are happy about being governed by the Land Councils and Minister Paech says the Treaty symposiums are for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who don’t live where there is an Aboriginal Land Trust and for those who live off country and have made the Northern Territory their home.

He says the Northern Territory Department of Aboriginal Affairs want to provide an opportunity for everyone to be heard and encourage NT communities to join the meetings.

Read more about the recommendations and NT Treaty Commission’s Final Report in this interview from Tony McAvoy SC What’s next on being Treaty ready in the NT? Tony McAvoy SC breaks down the NT Treaty Commissions’ final recommendations. – CAAMA

The Aboriginal Leadership & Governance Forum / NT Treaty Symposium will be held on
4 – 5 April 2024 Alice Springs Convention Centre.
The NT Treaty Symposium in Darwin will be held at the Darwin Convention Centre on 8 April 2024. Register here.


Truth Telling funding is now available

The Northern Territory government are also calling for applications for the Truth and Healing Grants. The grants will support truth-telling activities and initiatives so First Nations peoples in the Northern Territory can create projects in a more creative way that will build a ‘Truth Nest’ of information for their story to be kept safely as an important part of history and evidence for a Makarrata and Truth Telling Commission. Minister Paech says this is a more inclusive way for the community to get involved in telling their story because academic papers and reports are for everyone.

Minister Paech would like to see applications from people who would like to document their experiences of the 2007 Northern Territory National Emergency Response and federal government intervention. He says this race-based policy is still impacting communities in the Northern Territory and shouldn’t be excluded from the history of the Northern Territory.

There will be two grant rounds, each in total a of $300,000. Applicants can apply for a maximum of $20,000 in each grant round.


      • Round one will be open from 26 February to 7 April 2024.