- by theguardian
- 24 Mar 2023
The families of an Aboriginal man shot and killed by police at Uluru 90 years ago, have finally laid his remains to rest at the base of the rock in a deeply emotional ceremony, with his descendants calling for an apology and compensation from governments and police.
The partial remains of Pitjantjatjara man Yokun were repatriated to the place where he was shot and killed in 1934 by mounted constable Bill McKinnon.
In August 1934, Bill McKinnon was sent to investigate the killing of Aboriginal man Kai Umen near Mt Connor.
A few weeks into the search, McKinnon and his Aboriginal trackers, Paddy and Carbine, came across Yokun and five other men who were hunting. The men were travelling from the west, and were highly unlikely to have been involved, but were questioned and detained.
A week later they escaped and Yokun was shot by Paddy. Two men were recaptured, but the four others, including a badly wounded Yokun, headed for the sanctuary of Uluru.
Trackers found Yokun sheltering in a cave about 40 metres up, near the Mutitjulu waterhole. McKinnon told a subsequent board of inquiry that he shot Yokun from a distance and brought him from the cave. He died from his wounds several hours later and they buried him there.
It was laid to rest in a deep but narrow grave, close to the site where he died in 1934.
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