We, the Googatha peoples,
are reaching out to the world to expose the incorrect native title procedures that the South Australian state and the national
Australian federal governments native title regime have taken in the case of our sacred lands and waters.
We know that Googatha
are not the only peoples hurt and betrayed by Native Title.
Often it is our own people
However it is the government
that has set this system up.
It is time to look at
the list of injustices committed upon the Googatha people from the time of colonisation, which includes the separation of
our families and the British atomic testing north of the Googatha peoples’ region.
Having survived through
all this disruption to our cultural ways, we are now required by government to prove our connection to country through the
native title procedures.
We want the Australian
government to prove their connection to this land, and then we shall compare the two.
This government fails
to see how insulting and disempowering this demand is.
It is encouraging division
amongst our communities and it is government using once again divide and rule tactics to destroy the unity of the people they
are taking from.
Selling out and negotiating
the land was never a part of our culture.
It is a part of a system
that is not of this land, but it is used to generate money and feed an industry that benefits only the few.
At present our country
is under greater threat than ever, with exploration leases having been granted over the Yellabinna, Yumbarra and Pureba regions
with the extensive vision of sand and heavy mineral mining, north of Ceduna in South Australia.
There is also the horror
of the Olympic Dam uranium mine at Roxby Downs, which has been in operation for over twenty years and is now at the dawn of
a new expansion.
We object to these and
other developments, because there is no trade of land for money in our law and culture, and there is no compensation for a
Native title for Googatha,
is a farce and an insult, given that the government proposal for the function of a regime of Native Title has never served
its original purpose.
First, there was the rejection
of the original claims by Yabi Dinah-Googatha and the subsequent forced amalgamation of Yabi Dinah-Googatha with other nation/claimant
groups, creating a distortion of traditional land boundaries.
Secondly, in 2004, a native
title meeting was held at Spear Creek, where our elders were asked to put the Googatha boundaries down on the map. They did so, but only later found out that these boundaries and their responses were to be ignored.
Thirdly, there seems to
be no protection available through the State government.
This was shown last week
when its P.I.R.S.A. department ignored the proper advice of the sister Department of Environment and Heritage, as P.I.R.S.A
issued exploration licences to Adelaide Resources & Inco Ltd in an environmentally important area, and which, more importantly,
is a culturally and spiritually important area to Googatha.
Fourthly, there was no
true consultation with the Googatha peoples, who have been closely connected and in contact with the land since time began.
Mining and exploitation
of the natural gifts of the land, threatens our very existence.
It has become clear that
we cannot rely upon the South Australian or Australian governments to have a true indigenous interest at heart through any
of their sectors.
Finally, the following
signatories are Googatha people who will never sign off on their country, nor enter into a Native Title agreement nor any
I.LU.A., as there is no trust or assurance that it is of any proper benefit to the land or to our community.
Our Googatha families
will never sell-out on our country, despite the apparent representation or consents given by any Googatha through Native Title
As far as we are concerned
representation or consents by any Googatha do not hold.
We will stand and fight
until truth and justice is up-held for the true Googatha people, land and culture.
May this letter be read
and circulated far and wide to know of the strong Googatha people that are working in unity to take action to prevent the
massacre of the land through mining, native title agreements and the illegal genocidal laws of the Australian Government.
We are the caretakers.
We take this stand not solely by choice, but because we have a responsibility to our ancestors, and to the future generations
to come, for all people.