Aborigines

Exiting the Aboriginal Industry

Like so much else in our world, the field of Aboriginal affairs is awash in sloppy terminology, saturated with words glibly thrown around as if we all took their meaning for granted, yet without any clear definition: “autonomy”; “self-determination”; “nation”; “civilisation”; “country”; “culture”; “knowledges”; “spirituality”; “elder”; “race”; “tribe”; “clan”; “mob”; “language”; “disadvantaged”; “reconciliation”; “racism”; “gap”; “voice to parliament”; “dreaming”—even “Aboriginal people”, whose numbers are growing faster than any biological process can explain. Lack of clarity allows exploitation of such words, in aid of a broad range of purposes, that make it difficult for opponents or sceptics to question, let alone…

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