The Traditional Owners of this land are those who identify as
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Sovereignty was never ceded.

ANTAR pays respect to Elders past, present, and emerging through our dedicated advocacy for First Nations Peoples’ justice and rights.

ANTAR acknowledges the responsibility of committing to a truth-telling process that promotes an honest and respectful path forward for future generations to build upon.

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Resources Economic self-determination for First Nations Australians

Economic self-determination for First Nations Australians

Jessica Johnston
Last edited: July 10, 2024

ANTAR provides commentary on the issue of economic self-determination to the Joint Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs. In particular, ANTAR calls attention to the need for structural reform in order to achieve meaningful economic self-determination for First Nations Peoples.

The importance of economic prosperity to the realisation of justice, rights and respect of First Nations Peoples in Australia cannot be overstated. As the Yoorrook Justice Commission has articulated, without full and fair economic participation, justice cannot be achieved, and the human and cultural rights of First Peoples will not be realised.

In this submission, ANTAR argues for three foundational structural reforms:

a) implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and its key principle of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC);

b) the urgent need for – and potential of – state and territory as well as national treaty making that recognises First Nations sovereignty; and

c) ensuring that First Nations Peoples in Australia are able to make self-determining decisions about how to Care for Country.

ANTAR notes that whilst the current Inquiry’s terms of reference all touch on points that are relevant to the economic empowerment of First Nations Peoples, they do not explicitly name or address the root causes of the entrenched economic participation and prosperity deficit: that is, theft of land, forced removals and dispossession, stolen wages and forced labour, and systematic historical and ongoing attempts at disconnection from Country and culture.