The Social Effects of Native Title

The Social Effects of Native Title

Recognition, Translation, Coexistence

Edited by: Benjamin R. Smith, Frances Morphy

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The papers in this collection reflect on the various social effects of native title. In particular, the authors consider the ways in which the implementation of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cwlth), and the native title process for which this Act legislates, allow for the recognition and translation of Aboriginal law and custom, and facilitate particular kinds of coexistence between Aboriginal title holders and other Australians. In so doing, the authors seek to extend the debate on native title beyond questions of practice and towards an improved understanding of the effects of native title on the social lives of Indigenous Australians and on Australian society more generally.

These attempts to grapple with the effects of native title have, in part, been impelled by Indigenous people’s complaints about the Act and the native title process. Since the Act was passed, many Indigenous Australians have become increasingly unhappy with both the strength and forms of recognition afforded to traditional law and custom under the Act, as well as with the socially disruptive effects of the native title process. In particular, as several of the papers in this collection demonstrate, there is widespread discomfort with the transformative effects of recognition within the native title process, effects which can then affect other aspects of Indigenous lives.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Oct 2007
CAEPR Monograph No. 27
ANU Press
Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR)
Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR)
Social Sciences: Indigenous Studies, Social Policy & Administration

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  1. The social effects of native title: recognition, translation, coexistence (PDF, 170KB)Benjamin R. Smith and Frances Morphy doi
  2. Performing law: The Yolngu of Blue Mud Bay meet the native title process (PDF, 2.8MB)Frances Morphy doi
  3. Claim, culture and effect: property relations and the native title process (PDF, 123KB)Katie Glaskin doi
  4. Some initial effects of pursuing and achieving native title recognition in the northern Kimberley (PDF, 105KB)Anthony Redmond doi
  5. ‘We’re tired from talking’: The native title process from the perspective of Kaanju People living on homelands, Wenlock and Pascoe Rivers, Cape York Peninsula (PDF, 314KB)David Claudie doi
  6. Towards an uncertain community? The social effects of native title in central Cape York Peninsula (PDF, 119KB)Benjamin R. Smith doi
  7. Native title and the Torres Strait: encompassment and recognition in the Central Islands (PDF, 124KB)Julie Lahn doi
  8. ‘No vacancies at the Starlight Motel’: Larrakia identity and the native title claims process (PDF, 713KB)Benedict Scambary doi
  9. What has native title done to the urban Koori in New South Wales who is also a traditional custodian? (PDF, 117KB)Dennis Foley doi
  10. Beyond native title: the Murray Lower Darling Rivers Indigenous Nations (PDF, 321KB)Jessica Weir and Steven Ross doi
  11. The limits of recognition (PDF, 156KB)Manuhuia Barcham doi
  12. History, oral history, and memoriation in native title (PDF, 100KB)James F. Weiner doi

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