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Wild ArticulationsEnvironmentalism and Indigeneity in Northern Australia$
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Timothy Neale

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824873110

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824873110.001.0001

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Rearticulating Indigeneity after Mabo

Rearticulating Indigeneity after Mabo

(p.138) Chapter 4 Rearticulating Indigeneity after Mabo
Wild Articulations

Timothy Neale

University of Hawai'i Press

The split between some traditional owners and the Northern Australia’s ostensible ‘leaders’ was one of the most remarkable features of the Actcontroversy. Following Beckett’s observation that Indigenous groups ‘cannot be understood apart from their relationship with the state,’ this chapter analyzes the two dominant forms of contemporary political authority – the traditional owner and the executive advocate – as articulated in relation to changing government policies and one another. Given the fundamental inconsistency between the executive advocate and the traditional owner as forms of Indigenous political authority, how have these positions been articulated together in Northern Australia after the foundational 1992 Mabo decision? This chapter argues that as Indigenous people have been ‘recognized’ by the state these two figures have negotiated specific balances between engaging with state power and symbolic or rhetorical performances of differences; balances best understood as a political dynamic between legibility and illegibility.

Keywords:   traditional owners, Noel Pearson, politics of recognition, native title, land rights

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