Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters

Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters

Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters

Sovereign Subjects: Indigenous Sovereignty Matters

Excerpt

We are the first people of this land. We have suffered every indignity
ever meted out to a people. Yet our strength is in our determination.
We did not consent to the taking of our land, nor of the establishment
of the nation of Australia on our country. Our consent to being sub
sumed within the Australian nation was neither sought nor given. Our
sovereign rights as a people remain intact. By virtue of those sovereign
rights we are the sole decision-makers about what we need and will
accept (Mansell 1998: 2).

In imposing 'sovereignty' over indigenous laws, the state through
military force rapes its way into existence, creating a sovereignty of
violence, and not of law that is always known … This muldarbi sover
eign erases people's memories and ideas of laws, in constituting its own
statehood, one which assumes a foundation based on law, and not by
force (Watson 2002a: 257).

This book showcases some of Indigenous Australia's emerging and well-known critical thinkers, who believe that the legacies of our ancestors' struggles provide the imperative for us to do our work. We share a commitment to achieving justice and a critical interest in public and academic debates about Indigenous 'issues' and the authority . . .

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