For the first time Ngunnawal language has been heard throughout the ACT Legislative Assembly in the acknowledgment of country.
It is the first Australian parliament to begin every sitting day in an Indigenous language.
Ngunnawal elder Caroline Hughes was excited her language had been revitalised after a lifetime of it being denied to her.
"We've been disenfranchised for all of my life, for 56 years," she said.
"To be revitalising our language to the point that non-Indigenous people, and in particular the members of our Legislative Assembly are embracing it, means so much to us as Ngunnawal people."
Aunty Hughes sits on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body and is the director of CIT's Yurauna Centre.
She hoped to see Canberrans embrace and learn Ngunnawal language.
"To hear our language spoken by others is one of the greatest things that could happen for us," she said.
"I'd love to see Canberrans all over embracing the language and using it.
"I'd love to see place names across Canberra using our language."
From today, the Acknowledgement of Country said at the start of each sitting will be in Ngunnawal language. The latest step in our reconciliation with the Ngunnawal, it marks a first in Australian parliamentary history 🟡🔴⚫️— ACT Legislative Assembly (@ACT_Assembly) July 30, 2020
🔗 Read more: https://t.co/iK6XROZK86pic.twitter.com/YvGwN1ZyvZ
In a speech to the Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it was a "historic moment" and more needed to be done to protect Indigenous languages.
"We need to recognise that language is intrinsic to the culture and identity of Aboriginal people and to the intangible cultural heritage of all the people of the ACT," he said.
"There is a need to recognise, and do what we can to support, revive and protect the languages of the traditional custodians and occupants of the land."
Greens leader Shane Rattenbury said the "groundbreaking occasion" was a small step towards reconciliation.
"Across this country, we must acknowledge that First Nations People have a unique relationship with the land and water, that their rights and obligations as custodians must be respected, and that sovereignty was never ceded," he said.
"The nation has a long way to go before we recognise sovereignty and achieve reconciliation, and it's incumbent on all of us to do what we can to contribute to this important reckoning."
Mr Rattenbury wanted more cultural awareness training and language education to be provided to parliamentarians.
Speaker Joy Burch will give the acknowledgment of country at the start of each sitting day, and the wording has been determined in consultation with the United Ngunnawal Elders Council.
The motion, put forward in November, was co-sponsored by Labor, the Greens and the opposition Liberals.
Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe said the ACT had "fallen short" in bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canberrans in areas including health, education and justice.
"This can no longer be tolerated and we must be doing everything we can to continue working with Aboriginal people to implement policies that advance the inherent dignity of each member of our Indigenous community," he said.
The latest Close the Gap report showed only two of seven targets were on track to be met, after years of slow progress.
ACT Indigenous Affairs Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said this time would be different.
"This will be different because we have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations at the table," she said.
"What that has delivered is an agreement ... where there is a real focus on self-determination, on community control, on addressing systemic racism in our system."
"It's about how to achieve the targets not just what those targets look like."
Aunty Hughes said Indigenous organisations in Canberra, including the ATSIEB, were working closely with the ACT government.
"It does give us some hope and that hope is that our voices will be listened to and that will make a difference for our people," she said.
"I know a lot of work has been done by our representatives, particularly here from Canberra."