Aborigines in Arnhem Land, in the far North reaches of Australia, are applying for rights to prevent mining exploitation of 700 square miles (1900 square kms) of land which they say is sacred tribal ground.
GV PAN Land Rover through outback
GV Outback PAN TO rock formation
SV PAN & CU Aboriginal rock carvings and drawings (4 shots)
SV Aborigines in camp
SV Aborigines help petition organisers out of Land Rover
SCU Mrs. Holmes talks to Aborigine
CU Aborigines look on
CU & SV Mrs. Holmes collects signatures and thumb-prints from Aborigines (3 shots)
Initials BB/1300 LD/BOB/BB/1330
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Background: Aborigines in Arnhem Land, in the far North reaches of Australia, are applying for rights to prevent mining exploitation of 700 square miles (1900 square kms) of land which they say is sacred tribal ground.
The Gunwingu (pronounced GOON-WING-OO) tribe wants to be awarded a general all-purpose 99-year lease to the land, to run a buffalo domestication programme, operate a fishing industry, grow gardens, and produce and sell native artifacts.
A worker for the rights of aborigines, Mrs. Sandra Holmes of Darwin, drove 200 miles (320 kms) to the tribal grounds to collect signatures for the petition--but, since most of the tribesmen can neither read nor write, the "signatures" were mainly thumb-prints alongside their typewritten names.
In addition to their request for the land rights, the aborigines are also asking for federal grants to develop and preserve the area-- which includes sacred paintings and wall carvings in the caves of the surrounding hills. Also on their list of requests--an airstrip, school, bulldozers, trucks and fencing.