In Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada and South Africa indigenous peoples were displaced, marginalised and sometimes subjected to attempted genocide through the colonial process. This book is a collection of essays that focuses on the ways the long history of contact between indigenous peoples and the heterogeneous white colonial communities has been obscured, narrated and embodied in public culture. The essays and artwork in this book insist that an understanding of the political and cultural institutions and practices which shaped settler-colonial societies in the past can provide important insights into how this legacy of unequal rights can be contested in the present. The essays in the first part of the book focus on colonial administrative structures and their intersection with the emergence of settler civil society in terms of welfare policy, regional colonial administration, and labour unions. The second section focuses on the struggles over the representation of national histories through the analyses of key cultural institutions and monuments, both historically and in terms of contemporary strategies. The third section provides comparative instances of historical and contemporary challenges to the colonial legacy from indigenous and migrant communities. The final section of the book explores some of the different voices and strategies for articulating the complexities of lived experience in transforming societies with a history of settler colonialism.
This introduction provides an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book provides a means of exploring some of the characteristics distinctive to the colonial encounter and indigenous and migrant challenges to colonial rule in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. It focuses on colonial administrative structures with the emergence of settler civil society in terms of welfare policy, regional colonial administration, the development of labour unions with and part in the creation of foundational national myths. The book also focuses on the struggles over the representation of national histories through analyses of key cultural institutions and monuments, both historically and in terms of contemporary strategies. It analyses the potential roles allocated to the exhibition and display of Maori artifacts and heritage in a museum celebrating the national identity of Aotearoa New Zealand.