The Yolngu people have inhabited northeast Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory for more than 40,000 years. Most live in or around Yirrkala, a settlement established in 1935 when a Methodist mission was built there. Even though the Yolngu hold title rights to East Arnhem Land, the Australian Government failed to consult them when it excised more than 110 square miles for bauxite mining in 1963. Leaders from the Yirrkala community sent two bark petitions to parliament asking for reconsideration; although the petitions failed, they marked the first time that Aboriginals were recognized as equal persons under the Australian Constitution. Replicas of the original petitions — regarded as the Magna Carta of the Indigenous land rights movement—are housed within Yirrkala’s Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Art Centre. Also on display: two 12-foot-tall Yirrkala Church Panels (1962-3), considered among Australia’s most important artworks, and a collection of yidakis — better known as didgeridoos — which the Yolngu are credited with creating. The region’s coastlines are absolutely jaw-dropping, with long, powdery white beaches and crystalline waters dramatically set against the red bauxite shelves.