Community groups, organisations and Emergency services joined forces to recognise National Reconciliation Week which is dedicated to growing respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.
On Friday May 31, a great crowd of people took steps towards reconciliation at the Skate Park joining in with a smoking ceremony and listening to heart felt speeches by Kerry Major, Mount Isa Mayor Joyce McCulloch, and Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Manager, Eddie Hollingsworth.
This years theme was Grounded in Truth: Walk together with courage.
Kalkadoon Elder Jennifer Watts welcomed everyone to Country and told the true history story of Battle Mountain which took place in September 1884.
Ms Watts began by saying on the Native Title Claim they had only 29 ancestors.
"This means that when the Native Title form for Mount Isa and the Kalkadoon people was completed only 29 Elders remained and the reason for that is the story of Battle Mountain," Ms Watts said.
"It's important that I tell you this, this is true. The Kalkadoon people call this land home. This was where we raised our families and slept under starlight. We spoke to the land and the land spoke to us.
"When the white fella's came it was alright for awhile. We spoke with them, traded with them and we respected each other, but then the trouble started. Some of the cattle were bought to a sacred watering hole. We are a proud people, a warrior people. We killed those cattle and those men and the white fella's vowed revenge so the war for Kalkadoon began," she said.
"It was a war that lasted many years. There was violence and bloodshed for the white settlers, this was a crisis because the Kalkadoon could not be tamed, so they bought in special soldiers to defeat them.
"It was an awful battle. Our warriors stood at the top of a hill and the troopers fired their guns from below. The Kalkadoon only had spears but they had the advantage of height. White fella's were speared and black fella's were shot.
Ms Watts said the troopers flanked the Kalkadoon warriors from both sides so the warriors ran down the hill into the firing guns.
"Many died. Our warriors were killed, but the violence didn't end. Women and children were murdered, hunted and beaten. Over 900 were killed, less than 30 survived.
Ms Watts said the troopers didn't win, because we are still here and we didn't win because we are still hurting.
"The land has been spiritually wounded. So it's important that I say this, because this is the truth - we all call this land home. This is all of our place, this is where we raise our families.
"I hope in the future we stop talking about the massacre and start talking about the healing that has happened since for not just the Kalkadoon but the perpetrators too."
A memorial monument for Battle Mountain was erected and officially opened in 1984 near Kajabbi by Charles Perkins and the Kalkadoon elder George Thorpe.
Each year National Reconciliation Week is held between May 27 and June 3 and is dedicated to growing respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.
Eddie Hollingsworth said the dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey- May 27 was the successful 1967 referendum, and June 3 was the High Court Mabo decision.
Kerry Major said reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and in the actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating respectful relationships.
"We must learn and understand the truths of our shared history even all the ugly stories," Ms Major said.
The event was organised by Young People Ahead and General Manager Alvin Hava said they were proud to have so many service providers help out this year.
Mr Hava would like to extend his thanks to the many service providers for their support on the day.
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