Contesting the ‘we’ of ‘we’: the rights of Indigenous peoples in Australia

Heather Formaini


Introducing three papers which have as their theme Indigenous and non-Indigenous rights, this paper offers a set of frameworks through which to read the various discourses as they have steered debates since colonialisation. It examines the way Indigenous rights have been contested against a colonial legal framework, first through the guiee of assimilation, various definitions of ‘reconciliation’, and self determination, and finally in the claim for land rights in New South Wales. It argues that the philosopher Martin Buber offers a means of achieving rights for everyone, through his I-Thou model of inter-subjectivity.


Indigenous rights, assimilation, land rights, reconciliation, self-determination, treaty

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