Usage of the word Yamatji, in reference to non-Watjarri people, has resulted from its adoption by non-Watjarri Aboriginal people from the Murchison, to describe any indigenous person born in that region.[a]
Native Title claims
The Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (YMAC), pursuant to the (Commonwealth) Native Title Act 1993, is "the native title representative body (NTRB) for native title claims in the resource-rich Pilbara, Murchison and Gascoyne areas of Western Australia".
As of 2017 the Yamatji have made two of the twelve claims for native title in the Geraldton region. One, concerning the Wajarri Yamatji, was filed in 2004. The second was filed by the Southern Yamatji in 2017.
There have been four executive directors of the YMAC: Wayne Warner (1996-1998); former AFL footballer Clinton Wolf (1998-2001); Roger Cook (2001-2003) and current CEO Simon Hawkins (2003-present). YMAC was until 2017 co-chaired by Pilbara representative Doris Eaton and Yamatji Representative Ben Roberts. Eaton was recognised as the NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year in 2009.
^"yamatji..is commonly in the Murchison for anyone of Aboriginal descent who was born in the district. Other terms are applied to other districts: for instance, Aborgines from farther east are called Wanmala, and those from the south-west Nunga (Nyungar)."