Treaty negotiations between the Ngarrindjeri and the state government commenced on Friday.
As part of his visit to Murray Bridge Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kyam Maher attended a meeting with the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority (NRA) at the Ninkowar Old Pomberuk Cultural Centre building, and called the occasion a day to mark.
“For the first time a government in Australia starts treaty discussions with an Aboriginal nation,” he said.
“This really is something that I consider historic and we’ll all be able to look back and remembered that we were here today and we were part of this process.”
NRA chair Eunice Aston was emotional speaking about the process and said it will be a positive step forward.
“This really will provide our mob to enter into an agreement that will, in the end, benefit both the Ngarrindjeri and non-Ngarrindjeri peoples,” she said.
Ms Aston said, despite the process being started, there is a long way to go yet.
“It’s been an amazing journey to get to where we are. From here, it will have it’s challenges but we’ve been working towards this for a long time and I want to thank all Ngarrindjeri past and present who’ve been involved in this journey.”
Mr Maher commended the Ngarrindjeri for being at forefront of working to establish a treaty.
“I know in December when we made the announcement, after a lot of talks led by the Ngarrindjeri about starting treaty discussions, it was the most proud day I reckon I’ve had in my life,” he said.