The Northern Territory Treaty Commission is headed up by the NT Treaty Commissioner. This role is currently vacant. The role of the Treaty Commissioner is to consult with Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory and conduct research to inform development of a framework for future treaty negotiations. The Treaty Commissioner delivered an Interim Report in March 2020 and a detailed Discussion Paper for public release in June 2020. A Final Report to the NT Chief Minister on the outcomes of the consultations and recommendations for the framework will be delivered in March 2022.

Extract from the Barunga Agreement 2018

At an historic meeting at the Barunga Festival in June 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the four Northern Territory Statutory Land Councils and the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Government.

In the MOU, it was agreed that:

a) Aboriginal people, the First Nations, were the prior owners and occupiers of the land, seas and waters that are now called the Northern Territory of Australia.
b) The First Nations of the Northern Territory were self-governing in accordance with their traditional laws and customs; and that
c) First Nations peoples of the Northern Territory never ceded sovereignty of their lands, seas and waters.

It is also agreed there has been deep injustice done to the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory, including violent dispossession, the repression of their languages and cultures, and the forcible removal of children from their families, which have left a legacy of trauma, and loss that needs to be addressed and healed.”