Social Justice Report 2002
is intended to provide a brief overview of the main findings of the Social
Justice Report 2002. See the executive summary of the report for a more
detailed description of the reports findings.
The Social Justice
Report 2002 discusses initiatives currently underway or in development
at the federal, state and territory levels in relation to Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Affairs. The report commends the following positive
developments in Indigenous policy:
- The commitment
of governments at all levels to partnerships with Indigenous peoples,
including through statements of commitment to negotiate service delivery
arrangements with Indigenous organisations and commitments to negotiation
- The commitment
of the federal government to principles for the equitable provision
of services to Indigenous peoples as part of its response to the
Commonwealth Grants Commission's report on Indigenous funding;
by governments of the central importance of capacity building of Indigenous
communities and of supporting and developing Indigenous governance
- The commitment
of the Council of Australian Governments to processes for addressing
Indigenous disadvantage, including the establishment of a framework
for reporting on Indigenous disadvantage, the formulation of action
plans at the inter-governmental level in specific areas and a trial
in ten communities of a whole-of-government approach to service delivery;
- Support of
the federal government at the international level to the effective
operation of the newly created UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
the Report evidences that the past year has been another difficult one
for Indigenous peoples in this country.
to provide a snapshot of the status of Indigenous policy making and achievements
by governments over the past year, it is difficult to see any consistent
forward trend. There have been marginal improvements in some statistical
indicators, but deterioration in others. The policy approaches of governments
are ultimately full of inconsistencies, ad hoc developments, and commitments
that not only remain unmet but which are not adequately supported by institutional
There have been two
particularly worrying trends that have been confirmed over the past
year at the federal level. The first is a continuation of the antagonistic
and adversarial approach to Indigenous policy by the federal Government.
bi-partisan support for reconciliation and directions in Indigenous policy
has been undermined by the limited focus of the Government. Those
areas on which there is common ground are relatively few - and basically
relate to agreement on the need to overcome Indigenous disadvantage -
and there is even less agreement on what are the best ways to address
The second worrying
trend is the relegation of Indigenous issues to a second tier issue for
the Government. While reconciliation was a priority for the second
term of the Government, it does not even rate a mention in recent announcements
of the Government's strategic long term vision for Australian society.
issues are not treated as a national priority, and there are no public
commitments to timeframes for achieving results in areas on which there
is substantial agreement - such as Indigenous disadvantage.
At the state and
territory levels, there is much goodwill being expressed with extensive
commitments to partnerships with Indigenous peoples. These partnerships
remain works in progress and it is unfortunate that they have not yet
been accompanied by the necessary institutional support or action.
The one true highlight
of the past year, however, has been the demonstration through a range
of processes that Indigenous peoples are not going to sit back and wait
for governments' to solve the various problems faced in communities.
communities across the country are demonstrating that they are not passive
victims but distinct peoples fighting hard for the survival and recognition
of their cultural distinctiveness. Indigenous communities across the country
know what they want and are working towards building their capacity and
striking agreements with governments to implement it.
Given the minimal
framework for Indigenous policy being set by the federal government, the
report deliberately seeks to place Indigenous issues within a broader
context. The report highlights the differences between self-determination
and self-empowerment; practical reconciliation and progressive realization
and a rights framework for addressing Indigenous disadvantage; and by
considering international developments in the recognition of Indigenous
rights. Each demonstrates the severely constrained approach that has been
adopted by the federal Government and hints at the potential in a broader,
The Report raises
significant human rights concerns about the following developments in
Indigenous affairs in relation to:
- Indigenous women
in the criminal justice system; and
negotiations on Indigenous rights.
Reconciliation (Chapters 3
The report notes
current developments in reconciliation including:
- Public statements
by Minister Ruddock on the Government's direction in Indigenous affairs,
including on agreement making, partnerships and treaty processes;
- Budget announcements
on Indigenous specific expenditure;
- Responses to the
documents of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and report of
the Commonwealth Grants Commission; and
- The reconciliation
framework of the Council of Australian Governments.
There are two main
features which run through the government's practical reconciliation approach:
- It marginalises
Indigenous people from having any role in setting the priorities or
agenda for Indigenous affairs, even under the rubric of 'partnership
- The efforts of
the Government have been directed towards the goal of cementing this
reductive approach into place, including at the inter-governmental level
with the consequence that the limited processes for accountability are
not directed to those issues which the Government does not agree with.
The report concludes
- The Government's
approach emphasises citizenship rights and the ideal of an inclusive
society but does not elaborate what recognition the special place that
Indigenous people occupy as the 'first Australians' or recognition of
Indigenous culture might entail:
offer of inclusiveness to Indigenous Australians without consideration
of the rights and values inherent within Indigenous cultures sounds
all too much like invitation to conform to mainstream Australian society
without extending a reciprocal invitation to non-Indigenous Australia
to examine its relationship to the Indigenous population. Inclusiveness
(so defined) ... is potentially a form of neo-assimilation.
- The record level
of expenditure on Indigenous specific issues in the latest Budget still
falls a long way short of the necessary funds projected to meet outstanding
deficits across a range of key areas. Significantly the Budget does
not provide any increase in the government's existing allocation of
$11 million funding for Indigenous-specific family violence projects
over a four-year period, despite the intense media attention given to
this subject over the past year and the government's use of this issue
to reinforce its call for a practical reconciliation.
- Developments at
the inter-governmental level, as reflected in the Council of Australian
Government's Reconciliation Progress Report of April 2002, demonstrate
that there is evidence of much good will, but substantial progress is
yet to be made in addressing Indigenous disadvantage. Of particular
concern is the lack of developments in regard to reporting Indigenous
data and the establishment of action plans by each of the Ministerial
Councils under COAG.
- The agreement
by COAG for the Steering Committee for the Review of Commonwealth/State
Service Provision (SCRCSSP) to develop a framework for reporting on
key indicators of Indigenous disadvantage is a significant institutional
development in measuring progress for Indigenous peoples (note: Chapter
4 details a range of concerns with the current draft framework). When
assessed from the perspective of human rights standards and recent international
developments integrating strategies for poverty eradication and development,
it can be seen that it is a partial measure and needs to be built on
with other processes and analysis.
the Steering Committee's framework must be acknowledged as a significant
development. It is in fact the only positive form of monitoring
and evaluation that the Government has provided for practical reconciliation.
The overarching concern however is that if constructed and too narrowly
focused on practical reconciliation, to the exclusion of other important
factors it could be co-opted as a political tool for reinforcing
and legitimizing what is ultimately a limited approach to Indigenous
issues ... As a result, the framework as a stand alone mechanism has
the potential to reinforce practical reconciliation and marginalize
further other issues of significance to Indigenous peoples.
Care must be
taken, however, to ensure that the Steering Committee framework
is not seen as a panacea or as intended to fulfill the monitoring
role across the full range of issues. In my view, the greatest deficiency
in this process is not the draft indicative framework per se but
the fact that it currently exists in isolation from any other form
of performance monitoring, particularly on identifying progress
on important goals such as capacity building and governance reform,
as well as identifying the unmet need and accordingly whether policy
approaches are moving forward or in fact regressing.
- The agreement
by COAG to trial a 'whole-of-government' approach in ten Indigenous
communities is to be commended and will be closely scrutinised as it
to avoid replication of past problems it is crucial that the fundamental
issues concerning Indigenous service delivery be addressed and factored
into the trial's processes and evaluation framework. The rights and
autonomy of Indigenous partners be respected to ensure effective participation,
and for Indigenous ownership of processes and structures be involved
in modelling. Equal emphasis needs to be given to the responsibility
of governments and government departments and agencies in improving
their performance in regard to Indigenous communities.
- The Government's
response to the Commonwealth Grants Commission's report into Indigenous
funding contains a number of important undertakings and commitments,
which are made in the context of 'Principles for equitable provision
of services to Indigenous people' an agenda that provides an accountability
framework for Government. However, the Government's response is confined
to issues that fall within the 'practical reconciliation' agenda. The
continued narrowing of the government's focus on Indigenous funding
to consideration solely of relative need means that some important issues
highlighted by the CGC Report are largely disregarded.
- The Government's
Response to the Final Report of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation
is certainly not representative of the content of the Council's recommendations:
it responds to only one of the Council's six final recommendations,
and it outright rejects one of its four, integrated national strategies.
The report expresses concern at:
- the minimalist
response to the 'symbolic' issues raised in the reconciliation documents;
- the misrepresentation
of self-determination as divisive (see chapter 2 for a thorough analysis
of this point);
- An emphasis
on perceived areas of agreement at the expense of continuing debate
on other areas on which the government does not agree; and
- A misrepresentation
of progress towards meeting the goals of practical reconciliation.
of the gains from reconciliation for Indigenous people listed
in Government's response to CAR ... suggests that the government
is not providing a very clear delineation of outcomes for Indigenous
people but a somewhat limited and even misleading view.
absence of a long term commitment to overcoming Indigenous disadvantage,
with short, medium and long term targets, masks the distinct lack
of progress in addressing Indigenous disadvantage within a practical
reconciliation approach. There is a continual need for Indigenous
organisations to unravel the statements of the Government so that
it can be held accountable for the real lack of achievement.
Government's opposition to self-determination is not merely rhetorical.
It has consequences and places limitations on the breadth of enjoyment
of rights by Indigenous peoples and on their ability to participate meaningfully
in processes that affect their lives.
The limited, reductive
framework for 'practical reconciliation' excludes consideration of a range
of important human rights factors in setting policy. Chapter 2 of the
report details limitations in relation to the Government's approach to
The Report finds
that there are a range of significant differences between the Government's
approach to self-determination and the understanding of it that has developed
in international law. Ultimately, when we scratch beneath the surface
of the Government's rhetoric their approach is exposed as a reductive,
minimalist one that is not prepared to accommodate Indigenous aspirations
or recognise any distinct status of Indigenous peoples in any meaningful
There are five
main concerns about the Government's approach, when compared to the
fuller understanding of self-determination in international law.
- The Government's
reliance upon inflammatory, provocative untruths to reject Indigenous
or perhaps refusal, of the Government to accept that any consequences
flow from recognising the unique, distinct status of Indigenous peoples
in this country.
At present, the
relationship between Indigenous people is defined according to little
more than the beneficial intentions of Government to improve the life
conditions of grossly disadvantaged Indigenous peoples. Such intentions
are easily twisted into resentment and frustration at the amount of
money spent when the desired improvements are not forthcoming. Defining
a peoples' status and rights purely through their experiences of disadvantage
is a dominating and disempowering approach. It is not a respectful
basis for a relationship.
- The lack of
recognition of Indigenous peoples' unique status has meant that there
is no underlying basis, no guiding principles, for relations between
governments and Indigenous peoples.
current framework is oppositional in its approach and sets up Indigenous
peoples as competitors of government.
There is a fear
in the Government's approach that Indigenous peoples are going to usurp
control and power over matters which they believe more appropriately
belong as responsibilities of government. It is a strange, indeed almost
paranoid, view of
It is also, in my view, an unrealistic one that does not accurately
reflect Indigenous aspirations nor reflect historical reality.
- There is no
general acceptance by the Government of the legitimacy of Indigenous
peoples being the primary decision makers on matters that affect their
daily lives, and for efforts to build the capacity of Indigenous
communities being directed at this aim.
Overall, the current
approach of the Government to Indigenous policy formulation is introverted
and myopic. It is unwilling to build on international developments or
to accept that at core we are dealing with problems in relation to Indigenous
peoples that are being faced globally. The current Australian approach
is at the most conservative end of the spectrum internationally.
requires communities to marginalise the role of government in the functioning
of their communities. It is a perversion that governments continue
to exercise almost total control over many Indigenous communities. It
is not a normal functioning of those communities or of government. We
must continue to challenge the narrowness of the approach of the government.
Communities must also not be discouraged from seeking their own resolutions
to the problems that they face as communities. They must continue to reclaim
self-determination from the government.
Underlying the Government's
concern about Indigenous control is a notion of loss of accountability.
Central to the principle of self-determination is a notion of responsibility.
Indigenous communities must be accountable for their decision making
Issues of accountability,
however, run two ways - accountability to the funding agency and government,
and accountability to the community who are intended to benefit from
the programme or policy intervention that is made. At present, there
is a real imbalance with limited accountability back to Indigenous communities
(and to the community as a whole).
concern about ensuring adequate lines of accountability is not a
reason for not engaging in a substantial process of involving Indigenous
people in decision making and programme design and management. It is
a reason to do so on an agreed basis, with a clear understanding as
to accountability and monitoring requirements.
Indigenous women in the criminal
justice system (Chapter 5)
This chapter provides
a broad overview of issues that Indigenous women face in criminal justice
processes. Due to the general dearth of research and statistics it is
necessarily broad in its focus, and points to areas requiring follow up
action and further investigation. Despite these limitations, what is
clear is that there is a crisis in the level and type of contact of Indigenous
women with correctional systems in Australia. There is insufficient attention
devoted to their circumstances when in custody and insufficient attention
to the environmental factors which contribute to their being in custody
at all. Indigenous women indeed live in 'a landscape of risk' and suffer
at the crossroads of race and gender.
- Indigenous women
are currently incarcerated at a rate higher than any other group in
- While Indigenous
men face unacceptably high rates of incarceration, the rate for Indigenous
women is significantly higher and is rising at a faster rate.
- The over-representation
of Indigenous women occurs in the context of intolerably high levels
of family violence, over-policing for selected offences, ill-health,
unemployment and poverty.
- Studies of Indigenous
women in prison reveal experiences of life in a society fraught with
danger from violence.
- The consequences
to the community of the removal of Indigenous women are significant
and potentially expose children to risk of neglect, abuse, hunger and
- Indigenous women
also serve comparatively shorter sentences, suggesting a general failure
to employ the principle of imprisonment as a last resort. Once imprisoned,
recidivism statistics also indicate that Indigenous women are at greater
risk of returning to gaol.
A statistical overview of
Indigenous women in corrections
a) Rates of
incarceration of Indigenous women: The number
of Indigenous women incarcerated has increased from 104 in 1991 to 370 Indigenous
women in 2001. This represents an increase of 255.8% over the decade. Similarly,
rates of over-representation of Indigenous women are higher than for Indigenous
men. For the June 2002 quarter, Indigenous women were over-represented at
19.6 times the non-Indigenous rate compared to Indigenous men at 15.2 times.
- In New South
Wales, Indigenous women represented 30 percent of the total female
population in custody in October 2002 despite constituting only 2 percent
of the female population of the state.
- In Queensland,
the growth of Indigenous female offenders in Queensland secure and open
custody over the five year period from 1994 -1999 was 204 per cent,
compared with an increase of 173 per cent for all female offenders in
Queensland over the same period. In February 2001, Indigenous women
represented 28.2 per cent of the total female population in Queensland
open and secure centres.
- In Victoria,
of the 4886 prisoners received into Victorian prisons in the 2000-01
period, only 539 were women. Nevertheless, while female representation
is low overall, Indigenous women are over-represented, constituting
8% of all female prisoners.
- In Western
Australia, reception data shows that for the period 1 July 2001
to 30 June 2002, Aboriginal women represented 51.7 per cent of all women
received into prison despite constituting 3.2 per cent of the female
population of Western Australia.
- In the Northern
Territory, Indigenous women constituted 57 percent of the total
female prison population (they are 26 per cent of the female population
of the Territory).
rates among Indigenous women: National statistical data indicates
that nearly 3 in every 4 (76 percent) of all Indigenous prisoners had
been previously imprisoned. Recidivism rates for Indigenous compared to
non-Indigenous women are higher in all jurisdictions.
c) Types of crime
committed by Indigenous women: Statistics on crimes committed by Indigenous
women indicate that there is a considerable degree of variation in criminal
behaviour across jurisdictions and within regions. There is also a steady
and significant increase in most categories of offences. Thus, there were
100% more Indigenous women in prison for homicide related offences in
2001 than 1994, 127% more for assault and related offences, 440% more
for robbery, and so on. The increases were reasonably comparable across
many offence categories, although of particular significance has been
the increase in imprisonment for robbery offences, which outstripped all
women comprise nearly 80% of all cases where women are detained in police
custody for public drunkenness. Similarly, by comparison to non-Indigenous
women, Indigenous women are more likely to be incarcerated for violence.
There has been a past general trend of low numbers of Indigenous people
imprisoned for drug offences. However, survey data from New South Wales
and Victoria indicate wide use of drugs including narcotics. A further
significant factor in the incarceration of Indigenous women is fine defaulting.
A further concern about Indigenous women's contact with criminal justice
processes relates to the potential over-policing of Indigenous women.
For example, in New South Wales, the Select Committee into the Increase
in Prison Population found in 2001 that the most significant contributing
factor to increases in the rates of incarceration of Indigenous women
was the increase in the remand population. There was no evidence to suggest
that an in increase in actual crime accounted for the prison increase,
although increases in police activity and changes in judicial attitudes
to sentencing were also important.
patterns for Indigenous women: Indigenous women tend to receive shorter
sentences than non-Indigenous women. General rates of over-representation
tend to indicate that Indigenous women are not being provided with non-custodial
sentencing options. Shorter sentences also appear to be linked to high
rates of incarceration for public order offences.
of Indigenous women who are imprisoned: In general Indigenous women
in gaol are slightly younger than non-Indigenous women. There are no national
figures for Indigenous women prisoners with children, but a majority of
incarcerated women are mothers. Indigenous women also often enter custody
with poor physical or mental health. Research in Victoria has revealed
that many women self harm soon after release from prison. This includes
drug overdose & other types of self harm. In NSW in comparison to a non-Indigenous
woman, an Aboriginal woman is:
- Four times more
likely to be murdered;
- More than twice
as likely to be the victim of sexual assault, or sexual assault against
- Four times more
likely to be a victim of assault;
- Seven times more
likely to be a victim of grievous bodily harm.
factors is a strong argument that Aboriginal women receive poor responses
from police to complaints about violence and other disturbances.
Experiences of Indigenous
women in corrections
there are limits on the statistics that are available on Indigenous women
in corrections, there is sufficient data to indicate serious problems
underlying Indigenous women's contact with corrections. The reasons derive
in part from a combination of the ongoing impact of colonisation on the
culture, laws and traditions of Indigenous communities, poverty and other
forms of socio-economic disadvantage. This manifests in many ways including
alcohol and drug use, homelessness and violence. Research has identified
a strong correlation between imprisonment of Indigenous women and the
experience of sexual assault and separation from family. The impact of
alcohol related crime, and increasingly in some jurisdictions, drug related
crime requires further investigation.
in corrections experience:
to family life: The imprisonment of Indigenous women impacts on
the women, children and community who remain to take care of the children.
Indigenous women in detention often present with compromised health.
When these women give birth their children may require hospitalisation
in intensive care units until they are stabilised.
- Provision of
health care: Where women are treated in hospitals outside the correctional
facility, it is important to prove a standard of care which meets requirements
for privacy. Protocols between the correctional institution and hospital
for dealing with inmates could prevent this experience for women. A
secure area where women could be received and treated within the hospital
may alleviate some of the problems.
- Visits with
Family and Friends: Families are often not aware of the exact location
of prisoners, or of conditions attached to visits. The need for liaison
officers to reach communities with information about their incarcerated
family members is stressed.
to cultural responsibilities and dislocation from community: An
individual woman's sense of shame can be a powerful block to accessing
vital support. In some instances women may also be facing payback and
may not tell authorities about it, and may become itinerant as a result.
from Services: Indigenous women experience dislocation from services
as a result of incarceration. This may be experienced as loss of housing
and loss of medical or dental programs among others. Indigenous women
in remote communities suffer particular dislocation from services.
Chronic homelessness and the loss of accommodation due to incarceration
creates one of the most urgent needs of Indigenous women post-release.
Election driven law
and order campaigns primed to drive up incarceration, a lack of government
action to implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal
Deaths in Custody and lack of judicial activism to implement the recommendations
of the Royal Commission on non custodial sentences are some obvious and
ongoing causes of over representation.
by Indigenous women must be viewed as a symptom and offenders as the casualties
of colonisation. Links must be drawn and holistic models developed and
supported which address the connections between culture, drug use, alcohol
use, separation from family, violence, poverty, spiritual needs, housing,
health, boredom, race discrimination and gender discrimination.
are disadvantaged by the lack of services designed for them. This is an
example of intersectional discrimination. It is a consequence of a rights
and policy structure which identifies groups of needs and rights holders
such as women and Indigenous people, but fails to provide for the needs
of people who dwell at the intersection of these groups.
There is an increasing
understanding of the vulnerability of Indigenous women to the impact of
a lack of post-release resources. Evidence indicates that women are at
serious risk of self-harm and harm from others in the period immediately
after incarceration. It is important that rehabilitation be undertaken
in prison and continued on release.
Issues that pre-
and post-release programs need to address include:
- Housing issues:
Housing has been identified as the most important basic need of
women leaving gaols. Some women may be able to access public housing,
but this needs to be in place before their release date. Transition
accommodation is perhaps the most important service for women, especially
if they have children.
- Dealing with
Violence: Effective pre and post release programs should include
community based, Indigenous specific programs to help women deal with
the effects of violence and to help women develop alternative strategies
for coping with violence in the future. People require protection from
violent behaviour and alternative structures for prevention and punishment
of violent behaviour which provide more than imprisonment with all its
risks and consequences.
- Children and
Families: Women need support to maintain contact with their children
while they are incarcerated. Where that is not possible, they need to
be provided with information as to the well being of their children.
Women need support when they resume contact with their children. They
need practical advice on how to deal with family court procedures and
departments of community services.
Aboriginal women in custody are ever-conscious of the impact their
absence has on the day to day lives of their families and children.
This creates stress on them during the period of their custodial sentence,
and creates additional stresses on them when they return home. Programs
which are sensitive to the kinship obligations of Indigenous women
and supportive of these roles are important. Indigenous women have
identified help with family and community relationships as an issue
they want help with.
Some women may
face another form of dispossession because of the impact of violent
relationships on their lives. They may not be able to return to their
home community, as a result of their own or other people's violence.
In either scenario, women need support to re-enter potentially volatile
situations. Pre- and post-release programs need to be sensitive to
kinship obligations, and to support Indigenous women to work with
their customary obligations and to positively re-integrate into the
community in which they will live.
- Financial Issues,
Employment, Education and Training: There is an absence of consistent
data in relation to educational background of prisoners available. On
the issue of employment and education programs within the prison Margaret
Cameron of the Australian Institute of Criminology notes that 'no formal
consideration has been given to the needs of ATSI women.' A recent survey
of NSW women noted that 84% of the women said they would like to work
- Access to health
services: The high incidence of health problems among Aboriginal
women is an indicator that pre and post release programs should target
the health needs of Aboriginal women. The high incidence of deaths in
custody attributable to natural causes indicates an urgent need for
better health care while in custody, and better health care on release.
There is also a specific need to address drug abuse among Indigenous
International approach of
the Government to Indigenous issues (Chapter 6)
Decade of the World's Indigenous People began on 10 December 1994
and runs until 9 December 2004. Chapter 6 of the report surveys current
developments in Indigenous rights at the international level within the
context of the objectives of the International Decade.
There are still two
years remaining in the International Decade for the World's Indigenous
People. There have been some significant achievements in the Decade to
date, most importantly the establishment of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous
Issues and the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on the situation and
fundamental freedoms of Indigenous people. These mechanisms, however,
continue to face serious issues relating to their capacity and budget.
the extraordinary variety of achievements in the recognition of Indigenous
rights and the participation of Indigenous peoples at the international
level over the past thirty years there remains a great distance to be
travelled for international law to provide full and non-discriminatory
recognition of Indigenous peoples' rights and for the objectives of the
International Decade to be met ... Indigenous peoples remain greatly concerned
at the overall lack of achievement during the Decade to date and at the
fragile status of those measures that have been realised.
The Australian government
plays an active and vital role at the United Nations on issues related
to the protection and promotion of Indigenous human rights. The Government
has made a positive contribution in supporting the establishment and funding
of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The report, however, expresses
concern at the Government's approach in international forums on Indigenous
issues whereby they have:
- opposed recognition
of self-determination for Indigenous peoples, and accordingly have contributed
to the unacceptable lack of progress in negotiations on a draft Declaration
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
- Argued for the
dismantling of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations at the UN,
and withheld any funding contributions to UN activities relating to
Indigenous issues while the Working Group continues to exist.
The report makes
3 recommendations to the Government relating to its approach to
Indigenous issues at the international level. These are that the Government:
- Continue to support
the provision of adequate resourcing from the United Nation's Regular
Budget to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues;
- Contribute funding
to activities of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (and for ATSIC
to match the Government's contribution); and
- support the continued
existence of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations and seek to
strengthen its mandate and role.