Pama is the word for the original peoples of Cape York Peninsula.
It was the word for human beings at a time when there were only Aboriginal people in Australia. Since the arrival of white people, Pama has come to only apply to Aboriginal people and various words like Wangarr in the Guugu Yimidhirr language – white ghost – denote white people.
There are variants of Pama. Many languages such as the Wik languages of western Cape York say Pama. Other languages like Kuku Yalanji and Guugu Yimidhirr say Bama. The Barrow Point language word is Ama. These variations come from a common root.
Linguists describe an ancient language family spreading from Cape York to southwestern Australia they call Pama Nyungan, Nyoongar being the equivalent word for Aboriginal people in the Perth region. So Pama is a regional word.
We call this agenda Pama Futures because it is the reform agenda by and for the Aboriginal people of Cape York Peninsula, the First Nations of north-east Australia. This is the future we want to chart for our Pama.