Fighting Over Country: Anthropological Perspectives

Author/editor: Smith, D, Finlayson, J
Publisher: CAEPR
Year published: 1997


Papers from the workshop, 'Fighting Over Country, Anthropological Perspectives' was sponsored by the Australian Anthropological Society and held at The Australian National University, 29-30 September 1996. A critical issue in the era of native title and in the longer history of Indigenous land rights in Australia, has been that of disputes about Indigenous land ownership; in particular, how such disputes arise and progress; whether they are being created and exacerbated by the very processes established under native title and land rights legislation; and how disputes might be managed or resolved.

The workshop focused on these specific issues, as well as on how disputes are being characterised by the wider public and media. Papers address a range of social, political and economic contexts in which disputes over land occur, and examine the outcomes within Indigenous groups, communities and organisations. Attention is also given to disputes over land occurring between Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties such as governments, private sector agencies, other landowners and resource developers. The role of anthropological research is canvassed; a range of practical and policy implications are highlighted; and case studies from urban, rural and remote regions of Australia are presented.

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