PORTLAND indigenous groups holding a tent embassy protest are demanding to meet with the state government over issues of Native Title and social services inequality.
Six tribes from the Portland and Heywood region have arranged the tent embassy at Portland's Market Square, one of many expected to appear across the country in coming weeks.
As well as lobbying for land rights, the protesting tribes - Yigar, Gilga, Kerrup-Jmara, Kilcarer, Cart Gundidj and Euroite - have claimed other clans are receiving preferential treatment, according to organiser Sandra Onus.
Ms Onus said after camping out for a week it was time for the state government to provide answers about the state of Aboriginal affairs in the region.
"We want the state to meet with us and discuss the problems in the Koorie community in what's been delivered in land rights," she said.
"Native Title is supposed to be according to custom and tradition - that is not happening here.
"The Native Title process is not delivering to traditional owners.
"We expect the state government to at least come along and meet with us."
Ms Onus said social services were inconsistently distributed to different Aboriginal clans.
She said the protesting tribes faced inequality in housing, employment, education and social services compared to other more powerful groups.
"We're very upset because we have no say over our country.
"We can go to as many meetings as want but we're totally outnumbered by other people from other clans.
"We've never had any real assistance in our struggle from any other indigenous people in this community.
"We've fought for our cultural rights as Aboriginal people and we're the ones who get the crumbs for the master's table, and others who run the show get the roast dinner."
The Glenelg Shire Council made a point not to take sides yesterday when asked about the demonstration and whether there had been any communication with the groups.
"Council does not have a position on the issues expressed by those at Market Square," a spokesperson said.
Portland police said there were no legal problems with the tent embassy unless the council decided to take action against the use of Market Square.
The Gunditjmara and Eastern Maar people had a huge land rights victoryin the south-west last year, winning a 15 year legal battle to receive Native Title over 4100 hectares of Crown land land along the Shaw and Eumeralla rivers, and from Yambuk in the south to Lake Linlithgow in the north.