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PROCLAMATION
Of
The Time Immemorial

Ngarrindjeri

DOMINIUM

Now Being First Notified

to

Her Excellency, Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, Governor of South Australia

FOR THE CROWN IN THE RIGHT OF THE STATE OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA

AS REPRESENTED BY:

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

FOR AND ON BEHALF OF

THE INHABITANTS OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Greetings !

  1. WHEREAS by statute assented to in 1834 the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain proposed to declare certain lands wrongly presumed by Preamble to be "waste and unoccupied" in a "province of South Australia" to be established without notice to its Indigenous inhabitant proprietors, to be "open to purchase by British subjects" upon its establishment
  2. [s.6, South Australia Act 4&5 William IV, cap.95,]; and,

  3. WHEREAS in December 1835 at London, the South Australian Colonizing Commission denied on behalf of the promoters of the said Province "this declaration of the legislature as absolutely rebutting, the title of any aboriginal inhabitants of the proposed Colony to the occupation of the Soil"

[C.O.13/3]; and,

3. WHEREAS on 6 January 1836 at London, the South Australian Colonizing Commission agreed to submit "arrangements for purchasing the lands of the natives" of "the province of South Australia" to the Colonial Office at the request by letter of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Lord Glenelg; and,

  1. WHEREAS in their First Report to the Parliament of the said United Kingdom the South Australian Colonizing Commission agreed that "the locations of the colonists will be conducted on the principle of securing to the natives [sic] their proprietary right to the soil- so as to require cession of any territory to be "perfectly voluntary"

[First Annual Report of the South Australian Colonizing Commissioners, House of Commons, 1836 Sessional Papers 36 No. 491, 39 No. 426, pp. 8-9]; and,

5. WHEREAS the said arrangements proposed that the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain allow the opening for public sale in England of "those lands uninhabited or not in the occupation and enjoyment of the Native race" in "the province of South Australia"; and,

6. WHEREAS the said arrangements proposed that

"should the Natives occupying or enjoying any lands comprised within the surveys directed by the Colonial Commissioner not surrender their right to such lands by a voluntary sale";

Then in that case the Colonizing Commissioners have two duties, namely:

ONE [The first Duty]

"to secure to the Natives the full and undisturbed occupation or enjoyment of those lands",

and TWO [The Second Duty]

"to afford them legal redress against depredations and trespasses"; and,

7. WHEREAS by Letters Patent of 1836 issued to Governor Hindmarsh in London the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain purported to allow the said Colonizing Commissioner to begin embarking British subjects upon certain commercial terms on ships and sail for South Australia on condition

that nothing in these Letters Patent contained shall effect or be construed to effect the rights of any aboriginal Natives of the said province to the actual occupation or enjoyment in their persons or in the persons of their descendants of any lands now actually occupied or enjoyed by such Natives"

[C.O. 13/3]; and,

 

8. WHEREAS clause 34 of the Instruction to the Resident Colonizing Commissioner guaranteed that

"no lands which the natives may possess in occupation or enjoyment be offered for sale until previously ceded by the natives"

[The Select Committee on the Aborigines, Report, 19 September 1860, Legislative Council of the Parliament of South Australia, p.5]; and,

9. WHEREAS clause 35 of the said Instructions to the Resident Colonizing Commissioner required that

"the aborigines are not disturbed in the enjoyment of the lands over which they may possess proprietary rights, and of which they are not disposed to make a voluntary sale" and required "evidence of the faithful fulfillment of the bargains or treaties which you may effect with the aborigines for the cessation of lands"

[op.cit.]; and,

 

BEING APPRISED OF THE INEQUITY WE THEREUPON SUFFER, TAKE NOTICE THAT:

The fundamental relationship between the governed and government in South Australia has never been achieved in a politically democratic, equal and just process over the life of the State, because Aboriginal people lack due Constitutional recognition for their original land rights in the State.

The Constitution of the Parliament of South Australia was drafted by a 19th Century Premier of South Australia, without the full democratic involvement of the people or the community, and without Aboriginal input.

Of main concern for the better future of South Australia is the just, equal and democratic treatment of all South Australians by government, and especially of all Aboriginal people, and in recognition of their prior equity.

At the heart of the principle of a social contract between the people and Government is the right of the community to determine its future by making society accountable to the State, within a just system of laws.

South Australia began in an 1834 Act of a colonising British Parliament in London half- way around the world, and it determined all local Aboriginal people to be persona nullius, despite their inherent proprietary rights.

The founding legislation for South Australia was an ignominious start to a 167 year history of infamy for the Aboriginal people, who have never been asked to establish any form of legal relations with the colonising State.

Central to the Wakefield Plan for colonising the Aboriginal lands of South Australia was a repugnance for slavery and the securing of a privileged English social contract for a few, while dispossessing Aboriginal land owners.

Slavery had been abolished in Britain and its colonies from 1833, and the worst fear of the emigrants to South Australia was being found guilty of enslaving the Aboriginal people. To avoid any legal penalty for slavery and to avoid any allegation of slavery, Aboriginal people were deprived of any right or equity to their lands and were refused a social right to work.

This was a specific design especially incorporated in the establishment of South Australia. Although Aboriginal people were British subjects by law, this was only nominal justice, because taking their lands was justified.

The legal doctrine of terra nullius refuted by the Mabo judgment was developed by English law to permanently entrench this injustice in the State's legal and constitutional framework, and to deny Aboriginal equity.

There is an urgent need for the people of South Australia to recognise this ignominy of the past and to go forward together with all local Aboriginal people for a better and more just future in community upholding respect.

It is up to the community to extend the hand of partnership and co-operation to all people and groups in the State, and to reform South Australia to be inclusive of everyone's rights.

The traditional way to achieve unison of this nature, both for Indigenous and immigrant cultures alike, is for a social compact or contract to be formulated to establish the peace.

The whole community must be consulted and all interest groups must have a legal right to negotiate with government in the make-up and terms of a rewrite of the State's Constitution.

A bright and just future for all is only based upon an equal and democratic negotiation by all.

Accordingly, as -

THE NGARRINDJERI HAVE ALWAYS OCCUPIED THE TRADITIONAL LANDS OF THE NGARRINDJERI NATION

and,

NGARRINDJERI HAVE NEVER CEDED NOR SOLD OUR LANDS AND WATERS,

We ambassadors of the Ngarrindjeri Nation, George Trevorrow, Rupelli of the Ngarrindjeri Tendi, Thomas Edwin Trevorrow, Chairperson of the Ngarrindjeri Heritage Committee, and Matt Rigney, Chairperson of the Ngarrindjeri Native Title Committee, having been properly authorised in the Ngarrindjeri way to make this proclamation on behalf of all Ngarrindjeri, do hereby:

declare and proclaim

our homeland as traditionally delineated, including all waters, foreshore and riverbed thereof,

is now and always has been occupied by Ngarrindjeri.

THEREFORE WE HUMBLY REQUIRE THAT YOUR CROWN FORTHWITH RECOGNISE THE NGARRINDJERI DOMINIUM IN OUR SOIL AND BENEATH OUR WATERS, AS IS OUR ORIGINAL RIGHT AND DOMINION EVIDENCED BY OUR NATIVE RIGHT, AND -

ONE:

Enter a Social Charter with the Ngarrindjeri Nation to inscribe the mutual recognition of our dominium as between the Ngarrindjeri Nation and the Crown within South Australia;

and

TWO:

Present Parliament with a Bill for a Ngarrindjeri treaty to be enacted by indenture, which secures the Dominium of our Ngarrindjeri lands and waters to the perpetual inheritance of the Ngarrindjeri Nation, and which enshrines a Bill of Rights for the advancement of the human rights of all South Australians, and the particular maintenance of the Ngarrindjeri heritage in perpetuity.

Given under our hand and the Public Seal of Ngarrindjeri

as presented to the Governor of South Australia on Wednesday the 17th day of December 2003.

 

SIGNED: .

George Trevorrow, Rupelli of the Ngarrindjeri Tendi

..

Thomas Edwin Trevorrow, Chairperson of the Ngarrindjeri Heritage Committee

Matt Rigney, Chairperson of the Ngarrindjeri Native Title Committee

 

 

Recorded in Register of Ngarrindjeri Proclamations, Vol 2, Page 1

Record no 2. [initialised GT]..[initialised TET][initialised MGR]

Copies transmitted this day to

  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • The Governor of South Australia [the Representative of the Crown, acting with the advice and consent of the Executive Council].

The Ngarrindjeri Nation calls on the S.A. Government to meet with the Ngarrindjeri leaders and Elders to negotiate a Treaty between both governments.

 

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Lands & Waters