The Northern Agricultural Region (NAR) is the traditional land of the Southern Yamatji (also spelled Yamaji) and Noongar (also spelled Nyoongah or Nyungar) Peoples, distinguished by their distinct language groups and cultural practices. At least two Noongar language groups are represented in the NAR, with the main one being Yued. At least six Yamatji language groups are represented in the NAR, including Amangu, Naaguja, Nhanhagardi, Mullewa Wadjiri, Widi and Wilunyu. In addition, the Nanda People are the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters north of the Hutt River and the Badimia People are the Traditional Owners of the lands on the eastern boundary of the region, in Perenjori and Dalwallinu.
The Yamatji Nation Claim consent determination and Indigenous Land Use Agreement was signed on 7 February 2020. This is an agreement between the State and the Yamatji Nation Southern, made up of five claimant groups – Hutt River, Southern Yamatji, Yamatji Nation (including descendants of additional ancestors of those who were not included in the original underlying claims), Mullewa Wadjari and Widi Mob. For more information about the Yamatji Nation Southern Regional Agreement, click here.
Noongar boodja (Country) covers the entire south-western portion of Western Australia. The boundary commences on the west coast north of Jurien Bay, proceeds roughly easterly to a point approximately north of Moora and then roughly south-east to a point on the southern coast between Bremer Bay and Esperance. The South West Native Title Settlement came into effect on 25 February 2021 and is the largest native title settlement in Australian history. The Settlement will affect an estimated 30,000 Noongar People and encompasses approximately 200,000km2 in the South West. For more information about the Noongar People of Western Australia, click here and for more information about the South West Native Title Settlement, click here.
The Badimia Native Title Claim to their traditional lands in the Midwest and Murchison regions of Western Australia was rejected by the Federal Court in 2015. Nevertheless, the Badimia people maintain their connection to country and are recognised as the Traditional Owners in practice by all groups working in the area. For more information visit Badimia Bandi Barna Aboriginal Corporation or Badimia Land Aboriginal Corporation.
The Nanda people were formally recognised in 2018 as the Native Title holders of more than 17,000km2 of land in Western Australia, including the tourist town of Kalbarri, Kalbarri National Park, the Zuytdorp Nature Reserve and the Toolonga Nature Reserve. For more information about the Nanda Native Title Determination, click here.
In certain sections of this strategy, for example in the NRM Goals, we use the term Traditional Custodians as recommended by the National Heritage Trust. We do so in order to recognise that NRM works may proceed with recognised Traditional Owners as well as with other Aboriginal People serving as active custodians of their traditional lands and waters.