‘Country’ is an English word used by Aboriginal people to describe the complex interplay of animals, plants, landscapes, humans and spiritual beings that define a place or region.
Traditional Owners or Custodians are Aboriginal people who have specific rights and responsibilities covering a place or region through ancestral connection and cultural traditions
Only Traditional Owners have the right to speak for Country.
Despite centuries of colonisation and displacement, Traditional Owners retain their rights and responsibilities over Country, including land and water. These rights survive the imposition of a colonial legal framework and have never been ceded. These rights include : the right to use, enjoy, own and care for our lands and waters, the right to practice our culture and sustain our knowledge systems, the right to determine our own interests and pursue them in our own way.
MLDRIN will not interfere with the internal governance of individual Indigenous Nations. The role of MLDRIN is the one of an advocacy & representative body, a united voice for confederated, autonomous Nations.
All Indigenous Nations are equal within the MLDRIN Confederacy.
MLDRIN respects the diversity of Nations in relation to tradition, sites, stories, cultural practices and governance.
The resources of the Confederation will be shared equally between the 25 Indigenous Nations.
MLDRIN will strive to ensure that our objectives and activities are not directed by any outside influences, be it government agencies or companies from the private sector.
This ensures all that community members are aware and are in agreement with the operation of projects and have been granted the opportunity to participate.