Abstract Indigenous Australians have been living as a dispossessed, colonized people in their own homeland for well over two centuries. 2017 marks the year of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 citizenship referendum, after which the Australian Constitution was changed to include Indigenous Australians in the national census; and the 25th anniversary of the Mabo case of 1992, which provided the legal framework for land rights, acknowledging and confirming native title. Nearly a decade has passed since the Apology of 2008, when the federal government “apologized for (though did not remedy) the theft of Indigenous children” in what is known as the Stolen Generations (Collis&Webb 2014: 497). In November 2016, Alfred Smallwood, an Aboriginal Bindal Elder, was honoured with a place on the list of the 50 most influential people in Townsville: for being a respected Elder in his community and playing an important role in “shaping Townsville and its future” (Townsville Bulletin 2016) . Earlier that year, I got to know him as Uncle Alfred, an Elder who deals with the root causes of youth crime, by working to keep the Indigenous culture strong, now and in the future. This thesis demonstrates how the Indigenous Empowerment movement in Townsville is anchored in the Indigenous concept of Connection to Country. This empowerment seeks to better the present and future condition for Indigenous people, by way of empowering the structures of Indigeneity itself. These structures are vocalized in Welcome to Country performances, experienced in Smoking Ceremony rituals, and relied upon in the healing of historical trauma. These are the traditional structures that connect Indigenous people to their ancestral past, as well as create an empowered now and future in the contemporary setting of living in a settler colonial state.