The Robe River Kuruma people are celebrating the legal recognition of their land and culture after an on-country Federal Court hearing.
Federal Court judge, Justice Michael Barker made the consent determination recognising the Robe River Kuruma people’s claim to the non-exclusive rights to the area of land, referred to as Kuruma Marthudunera Part A. The Part A native title determination application was filed in 1998 and covers approximately 4109 sq kms of land located in the Shire of Ashburton and Roebourne in WA.
The Part A area is often called Silvergrass, and is home to many sacred sites and permanent pools along Jajiwara (Robe River).
The Robe River Kuruma people, along with representatives from government and the mining industry attended the Court hearing at Mindoona on the Robe River, east of Pannawonica.
Sara Slattery, Robe River Kuruma Traditional Owner says; “It has been a long 20 year journey for us and although we still have more work to do to achieve our Part B determination, today we celebrate the recognition of our Country and culture.”
Simon Hawkins, CEO, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation says it’s reassuring to see the success of the Robe River Kuruma people’s native title determination.
“Today is a great day for the Robe River Kuruma people. This determination took an extra 18 months of negotiation, the result from this saw the group securing five significant sites as exclusive possession areas,” he says.
Kuruma Marthudunera Aboriginal Corporation will administer the Robe River Kuruma people’s native title as trustee.