A graphic of the letterstick presented to Prince Charles earlier today.
His Royal Highness was presented with a ‘Letter Stick’, and it had none of the warm welcome attached to it that Charles had earlier enjoyed.
It read: “This here is Yolngu Land, we are sovereign people and we live by Yolngu law.
“We have many difficulties with the Australian Governments because they do not recognise our sovereignty. We need to correct this situation, for the sake of our children and their children, for our cultural survival, – for our ancestors. We are the oldest living culture in the world.
“I request, on behalf of the people standing before you, and the Yolngu nations that you intervene on our behalf and take a strong position to acknowledge our sovereignty and promote a pathway to Treaty.
“We are the only indigenous people of a Commonwealth country that does not have the respect or dignity of a Treaty with our people. Will you advocate on our behalf for our justice?
“Please accept this letter stick and create a diplomatic passage for this letter stick from your highly respected position to the Prime Minister of Australia, in order to help our sovereign nations reach Treaty.”
In diplomatic terms, this is a pretty big deal – generally speaking the Australian Government goes to enormous lengths to ensure Prince Charles and family avoid delicate matters like ‘family history’. That might explain why Yingiya Mark Guyula – the elected representative for the region – wasn’t even aware the Prince was visiting until a few days ago.