About us

We, the Martidja Banyjima people are descendants of Martidja Banyjima and Aboriginal peoples of the Pilbara region of Western Australia.  The Martidja Banyjima people are also referred to as the Fortescue Banyjima who live in and around their traditional country located in the eastern Pilbara region.  Archaeological evidence suggests that our people have lived continuously in the area known as the Shire of Ashburton in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for over 35,000 years.

Our land is highly sought after for exploration and mining.  In 1998 we successfully had our Native Title claim registered which in turn has given us the right to negotiate with mining groups and resource development companies in regard to future acts such as mining and development within our claim area. The MIB native title claim contains some of the largest iron ore deposits in the world. Some of those deposits are being mined or are under development. Others are still being investigated through exploratory and in-fill drilling programs.

During 2002 the working group signed a mining project agreement and as a requirement of that agreement we now operate a charitable trust called the Martu Idja Banyjima Charitable Trust.

The Trustee is pursuing the object of relieving poverty of the beneficiary group by seeking out investment opportunities which will allow the growth of funds to meet the needs of the beneficiary group over several generations by promoting commercial enterprise, employment and training opportunities for the Banyjima and Aboriginal people throughout the Shire of Ashburton.

Another key emphasis has been on the maintenance of lore and culture of the Banyjima people of the region and the maintenance of family involvement in lore and cultural issues when appropriate.  This has required support to the community in times of grief and also celebration of the expanded cultural life of the Aboriginal people of the Pilbara.