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The Land Is Our HistoryIndigeneity, Law, and the Settler State$
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Miranda Johnson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190600020

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190600020.001.0001

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Citizens Plus

Citizens Plus

New indigenous activism in Australia and Canada

(p.15) 1 Citizens Plus
The Land Is Our History

Miranda Johnson

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 describes the emergence of indigenous activism on the new mining frontiers of Australia and Canada in the late 1960s. It draws connections between urban and remote communities as they fought not only for equal rights but, more importantly, for their distinct rights to the land in order to preserve their identities. Drawing on the Canadian term “citizens plus,” the chapter discusses how activists made an argument for distinct rights in opposition to assimilation policy and the failure of national governments to consult with them about development plans on remote frontiers. It explores how activists excavated a history of acknowledgment and recognition of their collective identity on the land from settler state practice in the past and remade this history as useful for the present. It compares the forms that indigenous activism took and how they were shaped by particular histories of colonialism in each country.

Keywords:   Australia, Canada, Aboriginal activism, Indian activism, citizens plus, frontier, assimilation, aboriginal treaties, land rights, self-determination

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