Report on the Indigenous Youth Forum
The National Native Title Conference 2016 (the conference) was co-convened by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the Northern Land Council, and hosted by the Larrakia people in Darwin, Northern Territory, 1-3 June 2016.
With the success of past Indigenous talking circles, such as the men’s and women’s circles at the conference each year, and a growing level of recognition of the importance and value of Indigenous youth voices in the native title sector, this year’s conference program became host to the inaugural Indigenous youth forum.
The forum, comprising two talking circles held on the first and last day of the conference, aimed to maximise the potential attendance of conference delegates under the age of 35 years. The forum was facilitated by Natalie Rotumah, CEO of NTSCorp, and attended by 24 delegates from the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Also in attendance was Professor Taiaiake Alfred, international keynote speaker and Professor of Indigenous Governance and Political Science at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Professor Alfred led discussions around cultural resurgence and confidence and provided an international perspective on the issues discussed by the delegates, using his extensive experience advising First Nations governments on Indigenous land, governance and youth issues. The delegates shared their native title experiences and aspirations, and examined the barriers to their participation in the native title sector. The delegates then explored ways of overcoming the barriers to achieve increased youth involvement in the sector.