After a number of police raids at the Tent Embassy on Heirisson Island in Perth, where the Nyoongar people and others are protesting against the closure of remote communities and their own land rights issues.
Māori living in Western Australia organised a cultural exchange of performances. This gave locals like Clinton Prior a first time experience,“I was pretty excited to come down here to see the dancing especially the haka, seeing the two native people coming together.”
Last weekend local Māori began offering their support to the Nyoongar people after the third police raid of the camp in two weeks by offering koha such as food, water, bedding and more importantly waiata to lighten the mood.
The Aborigine and Torres Strait people make up 3% of the total population in Western Australia, nearly 70,000. More than 12,000 of them live in the remote communities throughout the state.
Wallah Huia, from Ruatorea in the East Cape has his own personal reasons as to why he is supporting the cause. “It happened to our people back home, so why not stand up for what is right, for these people their stand is for their land.”
The Western Australian government revealed its plan to close between 100 -150 of the states 274 communities late last year because they were no longer viable or sustainable.
Whilst it's a long road ahead for the Nyoongar and Aboriginal people, today, the land, people, and culture at Matagarup was alive and kicking.