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Indigenous meeting engagement breakthrough

AAP logoAAP 21/09/2016 Elise Scott

Aboriginal groups are describing a forum between signatories of the Redfern Statement and Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion as a "breakthrough" in future engagement.

The 18 signatory groups met on Wednesday to discuss concerns raised in the statement, which was signed and forwarded to political parties during the federal election campaign in June.

It called for urgent action in redesigning indigenous strategy and made policy recommendations.

National Congress co-chair Jackie Huggins said the groups were encouraged by the forum and have been promised a meeting with the prime minister.

"The minister was very engaging and listened well," she told ABC radio after the meeting.

Senator Scullion said the forum was also an opportunity to dispel some of the myths that had been circulated about the policy area.

For example, he said, claims that $500 million had been cut from indigenous affairs were "simply false".

"Those making these statements know that the savings from Indigenous Affairs programmes were less than half that figure with significant funds reinvested in new initiatives," he said.

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