In 2002 the Federal government initiated a review of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC). In February 2003, the Council of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) met with the three members of the Review panel, the Hon. John Hannaford, Ms Jackie Huggins AM and the Hon. Bob Collins. Following discussions of the issues surrounding the Review, AIATSIS Council resolved to develop a discussion paper for the ATSIC Review that would synthesise options, issues and substantially contested matters in relation to ATSIC. The author was asked to write this discussion paper, which was completed in April 2003. It subsequently formed a part of the AIATSIS’s submission to the inquiry. This paper is an edited version of that submission.