Last Friday the Wik People from Aurukun in Cape York flew into Cairns to met with International Consortium Legion Wealths, a group of Corporate investors from China.
Both parties were there, to discuss an Economic treaty supporting the Wik nation with Trade Development in the Aurukun Region of Cape York.
The Wik people have been in negotiations for the international trade deal with Legion Wealths, for the past 8 months. With both parties being assisted by Indigenous consultants (Traditional owners Nicholas and Alex Wymarra) who introduced the two parties back in February.
On Saturday after two days of meetings The Wik traditional owners and Legion Wealths both signed the Economic treaty.
The deal will see the Wik nations partner with Legion Wealths to export wood from tree lopping in Aurukun, exported to the Asian market.
This venture will include building a saw mill in Aurukun to provide local Employment for Aurukun people.
Currently the wood is chopped down and burnt for land clearing by Rio Tinto Mining.
Aurukun people want to recycle it & export it to make furniture and other products.
The Asain Market is targeted for the recycled wood with the trade deal also including replanting of trees and rejuvenation of country by Legion Wealths.
The Wik people and Legion Wealths consortium took 8 months to seal the deal as both parties wanted to make the treaty as financially fair as possible to the Indigenous land owners in Aurukun. With a major emphasis on Environmental sustainability and Rejuvenation.
The $600 million dollar deal will allow Arukun’s Indigenous people to be financial independent and in turn, close the gap on housing and employment upon their lands.
Wik Leader Barbara Bandicoote said “she trusted the process from the start and looked forward to working with Legion Wealths on country”.
The deal is also part of the Wik Nation’s move towards Indigenous autonomy and away from the current systematic ethnocidal and genocidal poverty, facing their people.
“We are thinking of our kids you know, our future generations. So they don’t have to struggle in life like we have”, said Barbara.
*The Wik people are the Traditional owners part of Western Cape York North Queensland.
They received their Native Title in 2004.
*Acting for the Wik nations during treaty negotiation
was International Constitutional lawyer Sir John Walsh Brannagh
Northern Cape Group
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