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First Nations peoples and the Government coming together in a just and equal partnership.

What is Treaty?

A treaty is a signed, negotiated agreement that accepts our history and opens the door to a shared future.

Treaties signed between governments and First Nations peoples around the world provide recognition that First Nations peoples are the original owners of the land and recognises the endured injustices as a result of colonisation.

Treaties have been used throughout the world as an accepted means for acknowledging past injustices, resolving differences and creating a foundation for reconciliation. Treaties are shaped through the process of negotiation and agreement and should reflect the unique social, political and historical context that exists between the parties who are negotiating the treaty.

Why does Queensland need a Treaty?

First Nations peoples have, for generations, been calling for a formal agreement (a treaty or treaties) to recognise First Nations peoples as the original occupiers of the land and waters.

A treaty or treaties, will empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Queensland community generally, to come together and negotiate a new way of being together and working, to deliver substantive outcomes for First Nations peoples.

Treaty provides an exciting opportunity to create a unified identity for all Queenslanders—one that recognises and protects the rights of First Nations peoples, cultures and way of life.

What Queenslanders have said about Treaty

Informed by statewide consultations in 2019, three major themes emerged that informs the work we are doing today to become treaty ready.

  • Inclusion
    Treaty is a conversation for all Queenslanders, both First Nations people and nonIndigenous people.
  • Reconciliation
    Truth telling and healing are at the heart of our journey towards treaty.
  • Treaty ready
    First Nations people and their communities are informed about the treaty process, and have an equal seat at the table to negotiate a treaty or treaties.

What could a Treaty involve?

  • Education
    School curriculum to include history of First Nations peoples, education about truth telling and healing, cultural education for children and young people
  • Healing
    Trauma recovery, recognising cultural and spiritual healing practices, memorials, shrines and healing places
  • Tackling inequality
    Redress/reparations for Stolen Generations, social and economic development, better housing programs, grants and funding for community-led services, economic empowerment
  • Language
    Revive and preserve language, naming of places
  • Culture
    Preservation of cultural knowledge, cultural heritage,  formalising local governance and authority, healing through culture: programs, centres and schools, repatriation and return of items
  • Country
    Return of land to Traditional Owners, protection and management of cultural sites, waterway use and management, land use planning and development, parks and wildlife management, cultural landscaping and architecture
  • Health
    First Nations community-controlled health services, culturally appropriate, mental health programs, access to health services
  • Governance
    Respect for sovereignty, self-determination, decision-making, constitution and participation requirements, formalising local governance and authority
  • Law and justice
    Justice responses and systems, first Nations child and family interventions, accountability and review
  • Children
    Keeping children in home or community, education and early years
  • Legal
    Enforceability of treaty, accountability mechanisms, legal underpinning

First Nations Treaty Institute — informing treaty-making

The First Nations Treaty Institute (Institute) is independent of the Queensland Government and will support First Nations People prepare for and then enter treaty negotiations.

The Institute will develop a treaty making framework in consultation with First Nations communities.

The First Nations Treaty Institute Council

The ITTB will provide advice on key considerations and appropriate criteria for appointing the Institute Council, following consultation with First Nations communities.

The Institute Council made up of 10 members—all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People—will govern the Institute.


Access guides and fact sheets

Information you need to be informed about Truth and Treaty.
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