Never yet
The tense of citizenship
in Governing natives
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This final chapter examines the settler colonial futurity of the Aboriginal New Deal, with its end in an Aboriginal citizenship that was to mark, for the Australian state, the erasure of Aboriginality. It focuses on the ways this future was confounded not just by contradictions internal to the practice of Aboriginal administration but also by Aboriginal insistence on the continued practice of sovereignty and jurisdiction over, and in relation to, land. At a time (in 2018) when the constitutional recognition of Indigenous people in Australia has produced a new crisis, these questions of futurity are both pressing and unresolved. This chapter suggests that rather than turning to governmental strategies of containment, a decolonising practice might instead sit uneasily with this lack of resolution, opening up possible futures that cannot yet be imagined.

Governing natives

Indirect rule and settler colonialism in Australia’s north

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