Australia is one of few Commonwealth nations not to currently have a treaty or treaties with its Indigenous people, despite ongoing calls for a settlement.

The term Makarrata has long been proposed as an alternative name for the treaty process in this country. However, many people have only become familiar with it since the Uluru Statement from the Heart was released in May.

That statement, and a final report to the government, came after the Referendum Council held 13 regional forums to discuss constitutional change and try to reach a consensus.

These two documents rejected the idea of minimalist or symbolic changes to the constitution.

Instead, they called for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice to parliament, along with a Makarrata Commission “to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history”.

Makarrata was also the theme for this year’s Garma Festival, and part of its tagline, “Go! Bukuluŋdhun Makarrata wu,” which translates to: “Come! Let’s gather together for Makarrata.”

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