Articles on Indigenous Australia

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Dancers from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait perform at the opening ceremony of the National Indigenous Constitutional Convention, where 250 Aboriginal leaders from across the country called for the “establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the constitution” and a treaty-making process. Lucy Hughes Jones/AAP

Uluru call for constitutional First Nations Voice presents new challenge for Referendum Council

At the same time as it’s become clear that Indigenous people won't accept a limited change, the right in Australian politics has become more determined to oppose any amendment.
At a demonstration, Faith Bandler (right) and her daughter Lilon (2R) appeal to national unity as grounds for constitutional amendment. Aboriginal Studies Press

‘Right wrongs, write Yes’: what was the 1967 referendum all about?

The 1967 referendum was the culmination of a long struggle for both Aboriginal rights and respect, for social esteem as well as equality before the law.
Indigenous children depicted in an etching playing the game of marngrook, which some have claimed inspired the game of Australian rules. Wikimedia Commons

Indigenous players didn’t invent Australian rules but did make it their own

The revival of the idea of Indigenous influence on the origins of Australian rules football diverts attention from another, much more uncomfortable story about Indigenous relationships to football.
People have camped in the long grass since colonisation. From this perspective, bans on the practice are a denial of Indigenous agency, culture and rights to country. Photo: K. Pollard

Contested spaces: the ‘long-grassers’, living private lives in public places

In contrast to perceptions of other homeless people sleeping rough, Darwin's "long-grassers" are applying a long cultural tradition to deal with the situation in which they find themselves.
Aboriginal elder Major Sumner sits outside Liverpool’s World Museum with a box containing the skull of an Australian indigenous person, taken from Australia between 1902 and 1904. Phil Noble/Reuters

Museums are returning indigenous human remains but progress on repatriating objects is slow

The question of repatriating objects is clearly more complex than returning human remains. It needs more debate, and more creative interventions to move beyond the current impasse.
Malcolm Turnbull explicitly chose to assume the mantle of his predecessor Tony Abbott as ‘prime minister for Indigenous affairs’. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Can Turnbull change course in Indigenous affairs?

For many, relations between Indigenous Australians and the government are best described as being in a state of crisis.

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