The Kariyarra people celebrated the recognition of their determination of native title by the Federal Court on 13 December 2018. About 140 people attended the on-Country Court hearing at the Civic Gardens in Port Hedland. It has been a 20 year-long journey for the Kariyarra people to achieving native title recognition.
The Kariyarra people’s native title claim (WAD 6169 of 1998) was lodged in 1998. The Determination Area covers about 17,354 square kilometres of Kariyarra traditional country and encompasses – the town of Port Hedland, the Aboriginal community of Yandeyarra, several pastoral leases and mining operations.
All Kariyarra Country and waters are important to the Kariyarra People. Some areas of particular cultural, historical and environmental significance within the Determination Area include Yandeyarra Reserves, the Abydos homestead and Reserve (containing many ancient rock engravings), Mumbillina Bluff, Friendly Creek, Wamaranya, Marrapikurinya, Mt Dove, Kangan, Boodarie Station, Portree Pool, Mt Frisco and Munda Station. The Kariyarra claim area has many rivers, the largest being the Yule (Kakurrka Muri) and Turner (Kapankalanha) Rivers, which are major topographic features of the Determination Area and importantly, are home to the mythological water serpent – the Warlu.