Karajarri Traditional Lands Association
The Karajarri Traditional Lands Association administers land and waters on behalf of the Karajarri people. The Karajarri people’s ownership was recognised in two native title determinations, Karajarri People (Area A) and Karajarri People (Area B), made in February 2002 and September 2004.
Both there determinations arose from claims to native title made in 1996, 1997 and 1999. These three claims were combined in early 2000, and covered an area from the south Kimberley coastline into the Great Sandy Desert.
These claims were mediated between 1996 and 1999, before being put to trial in the Federal Court. In September 2000, however, the parties returned to negotiation to resolve the complexity of the claim, preventing the need for judicial adjudication.
This second attempt at negotiation produced an agreement. In order to achieve this success the claim was dealt with in two parts separating Crown land and land currently used for Indigenous people’s benefit (Area A) from areas where pastoral leases had been granted (Area B). At this point the legal effect of pastoral leases upon native title was uncertain. This allowed agreement to be reached rapidly in Area A while the more difficult negotiations over land in Area B continued.
In the agreement regarding Area A, the Karajarri, the Commonwealth, Western Australian and local governments and pastoral, telecommunications, fishing and pearling interests all agreed to recognise the Karajarri’s native title rights, including their right:
- to possess, occupy, use and enjoy the land and waters to the exclusion of all others.
- to use and enjoy flowing and subterranean waters.
This agreement covered 24,725 square kilometres in the remote Kimberley region. It was approved and affirmed by the Federal Court in the Karajarri People (Area A) determination of February 2002.
In the subsequent agreement regarding Area B, all parties agreed to recognise the Karajarri people’s non-exclusive native title rights, including the right to enter and remain on land, camp, take flora, fauna, natural resources and water, engage in ritual and ceremony and maintain and protect sites of significance.
This agreement was affirmed and approved by the Federal Court in the Karajarri People (Area B) determination of September 2004.