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Articles on Native title

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For over six weeks, Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners have been performing continuous cultural ceremony at the edge of Adani’s Carmichael mine in central Queensland. Leah Light Photography

When native title fails: First Nations people are turning to human rights law to keep access to cultural sites

Recently Queensland police recognised the cultural rights of Wangan and Jagalingou people to conduct ceremony under provisions of a Human Rights Act. What does this mean for other Traditional Owners?
PKKP and PKKP Aboriginal Corporation/AAP

Fixing Australia’s shocking record of Indigenous heritage destruction: Juukan inquiry offers a way forward

The A Way Forward report addresses the issues of cultural heritage protection in Australia after Rio Tinto destroyed Juukan Gorge. However, achieving change will be far from straightforward.
The commercial interests of Adani prevailing over the rights of the Wangan and Jagalingou people show the fragility of native title. Dan Peled/AAP Image

Indigenous people no longer have the legal right to say no to the Adani mine – here’s what it means for equality

The deep politics of racial division is at play when governments position mining as in the public interest, with Indigenous land owners obstructive of that interest.
The High Court has awarded the Ngaliwurru and Nungali peoples just over A$2.5 million for the loss of 1.27sqkm of non-exclusive native title at Timber Creek, Northern Territory. Shutterstock

Landmark High Court decision guides how compensation for native title losses will be determined

A decision to award A$2.5 million compensation for loss of native title marks an important shift in how such claims are handled.
The Timber Creek claim is being seen as a test case for future Indigenous land rights compensation claims. Maleika Halpin/CrowdSpark

How will Indigenous people be compensated for lost native title rights? The High Court will soon decide

The decision will have huge implications for Indigenous peoples who have lost their land rights and for state and territory governments that may be liable for compensation.
Native title - the legal recognition of Indigenous Australian land rights - is determined under domestic law, not international law. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

FactCheck: can native title ‘only exist if Australia was settled, not invaded’?

In an article published in the lead up to Australia Day, WA Liberal Party policy committee chairman Sherry Sufi said “native title can only exist if Australia was settled, not invaded”. Is that right?
Members of the W&J Traditional Owners Council outside the Federal Court. W&J Council

The last line of defence: Indigenous rights and Adani’s land deal

The Carmichael coal mine requires a crucial native title agreement to build key infrastructure. But an Indigenous group is bringing legal action against Adani, which may create a fatal roadblock.
Paul Keating recognised the significant opportunities – and political risks – the High Court’s Mabo decision presented. National Archives of Australia

Cabinet papers 1992-93: Keating government fights for Indigenous rights on multiple fronts

Cabinet papers reveal the extent to which the Keating government was torn between concern for fiscal responsibility and a desire to tackle Indigenous disadvantage and pursue meaningful reconciliation.
The Tent Embassy in Canberra has for decades been symbolic of the tensions in Australian cities about recognition, reconciliation and land justice. Dylan Wood/AAP

How can we meaningfully recognise cities as Indigenous places?

Imagine if we did urban development in a way that honours Indigenous histories, knowledge and relationships with those places.
Most people against recognising Aboriginal customary law think there’s only one law in Australia. AAP/Joe Castro

Why Australia won’t recognise Indigenous customary law

Few in Australia understand the context and true meaning of customary law. Denials of its validity are often based on ignorance or on specific examples devoid of context.

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