The development of Cooktown and the surrounding area started with the Palmer River gold rush in the 1800s and progressed in the 1900s with the establishment of the cattle industry. The removal of our people from Archer Point occurred from the late 1800s through to the mid 1900s.
The Yuku Baja Muliku people were moved to missions in Hope Vale, Wujal Wujual, Palm Island and beyond, where some of our people were engaged as cheap labour to work as cattlemen, servants and manual labourers. From the 1970s 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 and a term lease, with the majority being National Park, as show in the below map.
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.