Sovereignty is not a vague legal concept.

Sovereignty is a practical and achievable goal.

Sovereignty for Aboriginal people can be defined as recognition of our Aboriginal Rights. Sovereignty can be demonstrated as Aboriginal people controlling all aspects of our lives and destiny.

Sovereignty is independent action. It is Aborigines doing things as Aboriginal people, controlling those aspects of our existence which are Aboriginal. These include our culture, our economy, our social lives and our indigenous political institutions. Wrapped up in all of this are health housing education legal matters and land rights, and many others things. When Aboriginal people are able to exercise absolute control over these essential areas without penalty being imposed on us by non Aboriginal society, then our Aboriginal Sovereignty will have been recognized.

At present the federal government has taken on some responsibilities for some areas of Aboriginal survival, so has the state government and so has local governments. Aboriginal Sovereignty will be recognized and working when these non Aboriginal agencies relinquish control or influence over these areas of Aboriginal survival to our people in toto.

This is not apartheid nor separatism, we are not saying send all the blacks to the territory and let them run it and have nothing to do with the rest of Australia, we are instead promoting parallel development. Aboriginal Sovereignty can be recognized and actioned without destroying the Commonwealth, it may be hard but it is possible. Canada, Denmark, China, U.S.A. and other acceptable western democracies have recognized the Sovereignty of the indigenous people without the disintegration of that society.

Aboriginal people can exist as sovereign, identified, indigenous nations within the Commonwealth of Australia.

NAIHO Collective
© 1983