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November 02 , 2008

Native Title in Australia: An Ethnographic Perspective


Australian law recognised the existence of native title in the Mabo decision of 1992. Since then, many indigenous people have worked with anthropologists and other scholars in recording and presenting the factual bases of their native title claims, and anthropologists have also acted as consultants to non-claimant parties. In this context, the legal and bureaucratic advisers of claimants and other parties often encounter the complexities of indigenous land and marine tenure for the first time, or at least in a new way. In this book Peter Sutton sets out the fundamental anthropological issues involved in native title in Australia, focusing on the kinds of rights that are held in traditional 'countries', the types of groups whose members have been found to enjoy those rights, and how such groups have changed over 200 years of post-colonial history.

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