Milingimbi Makarrata Resolution

The Milingimbi Makarrata Resolution is an outcome of “Makarrata: Bringing the Past into the Future”, an historic event held at Milingimbi in Arnhem Land from August 12 to 14 2016. We acknowledge it is written in the spirit of makarrata, a ceremony that has, as its guiding principle, all aspects of Yolngu social justice. This concept was chosen by Yolngu as a pathway to begin an awakening process to reconcile differences and misunderstandings, working towards unity and harmony. Through this gathering, we have begun to address the harms that may have been caused by past practices, and to reveal a vision of hope for a future in which we all share responsibility. We resolve to join together in trust to find respectful ways to ensure the cultural heritage of Milingimbi is managed appropriately into the future.

The survival and evolution of this legacy and its connections to country and the natural world, and to past, present and future generations, is crucial in building and maintaining a bridge of commonality between Yolngu and the cultural institutions. The Makarrata has planted a seed of mutual hope for the establishment and strengthening of our relationships as joint custodians of these precious things. We are committed to continue this dialogue and, through the deep listening that has begun, work towards important and shared outcomes. It is with mutual trust, integrity and responsibility that we resolve to commit to this common future, acknowledging the need for a focused process respectful of the need for unhurried time.

We are further mindful of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that acknowledges respect for all persons. As such, we seek positive outcomes that advance our collective understanding of the human condition and seek to create a more just and sustainable world. We put forward this Resolution as an inspiration to Indigenous communities and cultural institutions across the world to find common ground to ensure the dignity and integrity of the heritage of Indigenous peoples is maintained appropriately in perpetuity.