History of Yuku Baja Muliku (Archer Point):
The development of Cooktown and the surrounding regions started with the Palmer River gold rush in the 1800’s and progressed in the 1900’s with the establishment of the cattle industry. The removal of our people from Archer Point occurred in the latter part of the 1800’s through to mid 1900’s. The Yuku Baja Muliku people were moved to missions in Hopevale, Wujul Wujul, Palm Island and beyond, where some of our people were engaged as cheap labour to work as cattlemen, servants and manual labourers. From the 1970’s land speculation took hold in North Queensland and the Archer Point region was purchased by a developer as a land bank. The property sat idle for decades which resulted in increasing weeds, feral animals and other environmental problems.
In 2006, after decades of struggle by our elders and leaders and with support from the Cape York Land Council and Balkanu the land at Archer Point was purchased by the State Government and returned to the Traditional Owners. The mixed land tenure comprises of freehold (which includes a nature refuge and resource reserve), Aboriginal freehold, a term lease and the majority being National Parks.
The National Parks are managed through the Archer Point Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) which was agreed to by the State Government of Queensland and the Archer Point Applicants on 29 June 2007. The purpose of the ILUA is to provide for access and co-management of the land that is the subject of the ILUA.