THE NAIDOC Week celebration of Aboriginal culture began in Ballina on Monday with the march along River St - and there are more activities to come.
Michael Anderson, co-founder of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, was the guest speaker at the ceremony held following the march.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Tent Embassy.
Mr Anderson is a local man and his daughters, Lenkunyar and Reninya Roberts, grew up in
Ballina and are now raising families of their own in the town.
He said he was still fighting a battle for his people and his culture.
"The spirit of the embassy never dies within some people," Mr Anderson said.
"I see Aboriginal people going backwards in terms of our rights. We have a big fight ahead of us and we have to take our children with us; we have to teach them, or our culture is going to continue to be ripped apart.
"We have to get out there and fight because no one is going to help us."
In his speech, Ballina Shire Mayor Phillip Silver said the local community strongly supported the push for Aboriginal rights.
"In this community, year by year, things are getting better," he said.
Young Aboriginal men, Jarred Roberts and medical student Jason Sines Jnr, also spoke at the gathering.
They said NAIDOC Week was important to them because their families gathered to celebrate Aboriginal culture.
Today, July 5, is the Children and Family NAIDOC Celebration Day at the Ballina Amphitheatre from 10am.
It is a free fun day with craft, art, music, drumming, face painting, sausage sizzles and more.
Tomorrow, July 6, in association with the current NAIDOC art show at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina, Ballina's Saltwater Women will run lino block printing at the gallery. Phone 66816 167.