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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Sovereignty, Mabo, and Indigenous Fiction
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Native title was increasingly being seen as a regime of limited property rights that could be curbed by governments at a whim. [...]while many Aboriginal people have certainly benefited from native title determinations 3 since the Native Title Act was passed in 1993, Mabo-based native title offers no recompense to the majority of Aboriginal people living in Australia today, because most of them have been dispossessed of their traditional lands, or their native title rights have been extinguished by land grants to settlers. For Watson, the gains of native title have been "meagre at best, illusory at worst" (284). [...]as the Mabo decision and the native title claims process have proved increasingly disappointing for more Aboriginal people in their aspirations for justice and land rights, attention has returned to sovereignty, something that was expressly denied them in Mabo. The recognition of native title rights in the Mabo decision of 1992, while "truly a catalytic political event" (Russell 279), also provided no advances on the question of sovereignty. [...]all three of these state initiatives from the early 1990s functioned, in effect, to displace calls for a treaty and indigenous sovereignty for a number of years. Wright's narrator explains that "Aboriginal Law handed down through the ages since time began" provides the foundational basis for living on the land (2). [...]the machinations and the history of the "white" nation-state are subordinated to Aboriginal Law early in this novel, and the carriers of Aboriginal Law are established as sovereigns of this place.'  (Publication abstract)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Antipodes vol. 31 no. 2 December 2017 15912119 2017 periodical issue 2017 pg. 344-360
Last amended 26 Mar 2019 17:15:33
344-360 Sovereignty, Mabo, and Indigenous Fictionsmall AustLit logo Antipodes
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