Preamble to the Original Sovereign Tribal Federation’s submission to the United Nations in Geneva in 2012
There were many factors that prompted Mark McMurtrie and Uncle Karno Walker to make this submission to the United Nations in Geneva, July 2012, for Uncle Karno one of the most important factors where the alarming number of Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
For Mark McMurtrie one of the factors that was strongest for him and his committee was the introduction of the Stronger Futures legislation by the Australian Government.
Uncle Karno was the Chairperson of the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Watch Committee S.A. from 1988 to 1990 and saw first hand the effect the law had on Aboriginal Australians. One of the many deaths Karno found upsetting was the death in custody of his cousin, Greg Ronald Karpany, in January 1988. Family spokesperson for Greg, Allan Campbell, spoke of the need for a submission to the United Nations as part of an upcoming Conference of Families dealing with the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody issue. This was reported in the Canberra Times in January of 1989.
This is something Uncle Karno would have been in full agreement with Allan Campbell about, to lose your legal rights to your land is bad enough, to have that same law be responsible for taking your right to live on that same land is even worse. Legal recognition for First Nations people sovereignty would do a lot to address this issue.
One of the Commissioner’s of the RCIADIC Elliot Johnston, QC, recognised the right to Aboriginal Self Determination as being the most important finding of the Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, one that was even more important than legislative change within the Commonwealth Government of Australia’s existing legal framework itself.
Link to and picture of RCIADIC newspaper article
UNHCR Seminar “Strengthening Partnership between States and indigenous peoples: treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements”
On Monday, the 16th and Tuesday the 17th of July 2012 Mark McMurtrie and Uncle Karno Walker arrived in Geneva, Switzerland to participate in the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Seminar on “Strengthening partnership between indigenous peoples and States: Treaties, agreements and constructive arrangements.”
Mark McMurtrie spoke at this event with Uncle Karno Walker sitting beside him as his witness and co-contributor to this seminar, you can see this speech in the YouTube video above.
This is the joint submission to the Office of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights by Karno Walker Of the Ramindjeri Nation, Mark McMurtrie of the Kokatha and Tharawal Nations. On behalf of the Original Sovereign Tribal Federation (OSTF) Members.
This was tabled into the record by the Polynesian King of Tahiti on behalf of the Tribal Nations of Australia.
“Strengthening Partnership between States and indigenous peoples: treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements”