Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identities

Cengage Learning Australia
Publication Type:
Nelson Aboriginal Studies, 2011, 1st Edition, pp. 43 - 52
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Identity has long been and remains a bitterly contested issue. For the Coloniser, the power to define Aboriginal people facilitated colonisation. Terra nullius had the effect of erasing violent dispossession from the historical memory. The power has subsequently been used in various attempts to 'merge' Aboriginal people into Australian society, giving rise to the tragedies of the Stolen Generations. From the perspective of many Aboriginal people, this painful history remains palpable and, consequently, rhe power to define our identity is one that is jealously guarded. This chapter will be divided into two parts. Part 1 will provide a historical analysis of various attempts by the State to define and suppress Aboriginal identity. Part 2 ;viii discuss contemporary issues revolving around identity.
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