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By Miranda Johnson

The Land Is Our History tells the tale of indigenous felony activism at a serious political and cultural juncture in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. within the past due Nineteen Sixties, indigenous activists protested assimilation regulations and the usurpation in their lands as a brand new mining growth took off, extensively threatening their collective identities. frequently excluded from felony recourse some time past, indigenous leaders took their claims to court docket with impressive effects. For the 1st time, their exact histories have been admitted as proof in their rights.

Miranda Johnson examines how indigenous peoples encouraged for themselves in courts and commissions of inquiry among the early Nineteen Seventies to the mid-1990s, chronicling a unprecedented and ignored heritage during which almost disenfranchised peoples pressured strong settler democracies to reckon with their calls for. in accordance with huge archival learn and interviews with major members, The Land Is Our History brings to the fore complicated and wealthy discussions between activists, legal professionals, anthropologists, judges, and others within the context of felony circumstances in far-flung groups facing rights, historical past, and id. the results of those debates have been abruptly wide-ranging. by way of saying that they have been the 1st peoples of the land, indigenous leaders forced the strong settler states that surrounded them to barter their rights and standing. Fracturing nationwide myths and making new tales of starting place invaluable, indigenous peoples' claims challenged settler societies to reconsider their experience of belonging.

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A r g u m e n t f o r Aborigines as citizens plus did not gain traction in Australia until their equal rights were more firmly secured. For most of the 1960s, activists focused on struggles against discrimination and changing the Australian constitution. Those struggles, often carried out in the cities and country towns of southeastern Australia, established Aborigines as coeval citizens. In the late 1960s, new arguments for “land rights” emerged, mainly in remote areas, shifting the focus away from equal rights to the distinct rights of Aborigines.

A seventh judge found against the Nisga’a claimants on a matter of jurisdiction on the grounds that they had not obtained permission from the province of British Columbia to sue the Crown. 66 The Nisga’a claimants failed on a technicality, but Calder v. Attorney-​ General marked a legal turning point in the recognition of Indians’ land rights in historical terms as well as launching the careers of some of those involved. A few years later, the Nisga’a’s lawyer, Thomas Berger, chaired the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry that investigated the claims of Dene people in the Northwest Territories to their land rights in the context of a proposed oil and gas pipeline that would connect Arctic reserves with the United States market.

65 Citizens Plus 31 At the same time as status Indian leaders were demanding their treaty rights, leaders of communities with whom colonial authorities had never made treaties were demanding recognition of “aboriginal title” to lands they said their people had never ceded. This included Inuit people in the Arctic, Métis communities, and Indians in British Columbia and parts of the north. The federal government initially dismissed their claims, and the CICC was not given the jurisdiction to hear or make recommendations on aboriginal title.

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