Mr Knight, an elder of the Wiradjuri people, made the call at the beginning of NAIDOC Week, which celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Writing in a NAIDOC Week commentary, Mr Knight said “Indigenous economic development demands that Indigenous people take charge of employment, business, asset and wealth creation and ultimately, operate their own private businesses and community-based enterprises."
In recent years, Indigenous people have increasingly sought to participate in the national economy by starting their own businesses and community owned and operated enterprises.
"In most cases they are looking for an escape from poverty and the violence associated with it. They want to create a better quality of life for their families and community members."
"These businesses range from ecotourism and cultural tours to partnership with mining companies on native title land; restaurants; Indigenous owned holiday resorts; transport operations; and fishing and agricultural enterprises," Mr Knight continued.
However, he concludes that "breaking the cycle of poverty for many Indigenous Australians still poses many challenges."