Milton Savage, Chair of the Kaurareg Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, standing on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, northern Australia.

The 'forgotten people': When death came to the Torres Strait

Updated 0139 GMT (0939 HKT) May 26, 2018

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Thursday Island, Australia (CNN)Milton Savage sits on the porch of his cement board house on Thursday Island in the Torres Strait, about 40 kilometers (24 miles) north of Australia's northern tip.

Shaded by a lush tropical garden, Savage is stripped to the waist in a pair of footy shorts. He sips green tea and puffs on a cigarette while two old dogs lie on his feet wheezing in the monsoonal heat.
Savage is the Chair of the Kaurareg Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, the government-backed organization that lobbies for his people's land rights, but he also has tribal bloodlines that tie him to all the clans of Cape York, in northern Queensland.
"I'm Kaurareg, I'm Italaig, Gudang Yadhaikana, Gomukudin, Kawaig man, that's my people's tribes," Savage says, as steam rises from the nearby papaya and banana trees between monsoonal downpours.
Milton Savage at a cultural event on Thursday Island, explaining the fate of his people.