The Interim Truth and Treaty Body (the Board) is committed to continuing Queensland’s treaty journey. We acknowledge the generations of calls from First Nations peoples in Queensland for Treaty and the work of many before us who have been pivotal in getting us to where we are today.
Our role now is to lay a firm foundation whilst a proposed First Nations Treaty Institute (the Institute) and Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry (the Inquiry) are being established through legislation.
A healed Queensland through reframing the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sovereign peoples and the Queensland Government.
We aim to
- Initiate a process of healing through educating all Queenslanders about the full history of our State, and acknowledging the impact of colonisation on First Nations peoples
- Support local truth telling by facilitating community yarns and fact-finding activities
- Empower First Nations peoples and communities to prepare for formal truth telling and treaty negotiations
- Foster togetherness, of all Queenslanders coming together in solidarity, to set in motion true reconciliation for our State.
We will work
- Independently from Government, but partner with them to achieve a reframed relationship
- As partners with communities
- With integrity, transparency, and accountability
- Collectively to make progress together and help to reach treaty negotiations in the years to come.
The Path to Treaty journey began in 2019, marked by the signing of the Statement of Commitment to reframe the relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the Queensland Government.
Since then, there have been several key bodies established to give life to this ambition. Take a look below for more information.
December 2019 – May 2020
The Eminent Panel started treaty conversations with the support of a Treaty Working Group. This included statewide consultations that confirmed that Queenslanders supported exploring treaty and what that might look like.
Informed by statewide consultations, the Eminent Panel prepared a report with recommendations – three major themes emerged that informs the work we are doing today.
- Inclusion: Treaty is a conversation for all Queenslanders, both First Nations people and non-Indigenous people.
- Reconciliation: Truth telling and healing are at the heart of our journey towards treaty.
- Treaty ready: First Nations people and their communities are informed about the Path to Treaty, and have an equal seat at the table to negotiate a treaty or treaties.
August 2020 – October 2021
The Treaty Advancement Committee (the TAC) was appointed on 14 February 2021 to provide independent advice and guidance to the Queensland Government on options for implementing the Eminent Panel’s recommendations.
The TAC looked at treaty making practices—both nationally and internationally—to inform the recommendations in their report. They also went back out to community to provide an update on the Path to Treaty.
The TAC report recommendations included:
- A staged approach to truth telling and healing – firstly via local truth telling with public institutions (libraries, museums, art galleries, archives) and then by a formal state-wide process – the Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry (the Inquiry)
- Treaty making and First Nations empowerment – facilitated by the First Nations Treaty Institute (the Institute)
- Use of the returns of the Path to Treaty Fund, announced in the Queensland State Budget 2021-2022, to support the operations of the Institute and First Nations treaty readiness
- Queensland Government Treaty readiness – led by a Path to Treaty Office, Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
- An independent body to maintain momentum of the Path to Treaty, undertake local truth telling and co-design the Institute and Inquiry.
The Queensland Government accepted all the recommendations of the TAC. One of the recommendations was to appoint an ‘independent body’. The Interim Truth and Treaty Body, recommended by the TAC was announced in August 2022.
An Interim Truth and Treaty Body (Board) was established to steer the pathway forward.
The Board will:
- Co-design establishing the First Nations Treaty Institute (Institute) and the Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry (Inquiry) with the Queensland Government (take a look at next steps for more information)
- Deliver local truth-telling activities to acknowledge Queensland’s history and the impacts of colonisation on First Nations people
- Work with First Nations peoples to support local-level community treaty readiness and explore priorities.
1. Establish the proposed First Nations Treaty Institute
The proposed First Nations Treaty Institute (Institute) will be established by legislation. The Institute will be independent of the Queensland Government, and led by a Treaty Institute Council that will consist of 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
It is proposed that the Institute will undertake a number of important functions. This will include developing a treaty-making framework and supporting First Nations engagement in treaty negotiations.
The framework will provide a guide to understanding the treaty process and support the full and informed participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in treaty negotiations.
The Institute will be empowered with the appropriate powers and capacities to operate effectively while building trust, accountability and integrity, underpinned by respect of First Nations laws, customs, and cultures.
2. Establish the proposed Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry
The proposed Truth Telling and Healing Inquiry (Inquiry) will be established in legislation and will document the effects of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Queensland.
It is proposed that the Inquiry will be led by a majority of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander members.
The Interim Truth and Treaty Body will work and the Queensland Government, over the coming months to co-design the Inquiry functions and objectives.
Stay tuned for more information!
The Interim Truth and Treaty Body is currently situated at the State Library Queensland.