Ms Shea said in making the claim they would be committing themselves to creating a “right of way” for future generations of Ngunnawal people.

“For our young people, who need that cultural guidance and support to know who they are and how important it is to be proud Ngunnawal young people, so they can take on leadership roles as well,” she said.

She referenced difficulties they had faced in getting to this point in the process.

“I think today is very significant in the fact that the struggles that Eddie Mabo and his family and his people had, it is hard work,” she said.

“But if you’ve got the kinship and the family base around you, we can achieve anything.”

“We need recognition for who we are, that’s what’s really important,” another traditional owner, Bradley Bell, said.

“I teach my kids about their culture and identity, and I want their culture and identity to be strong.”

In a statement, ACT Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Rachel Stephen-Smith welcomed the news.

“We’ve said before that the ACT government would engage supportively and in good faith if a new native title claim was lodged,” she said.

“I look forward to hearing more as details become available.”

By 4difm

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