Relationship between land rights and aboriginal self determination

relationship between land rights and aboriginal self determination

Self-determination is a term used to describe that Aboriginal and both land rights and self-governance, as land is understood to be the formed the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association (AAPA) in April [6]. Differing approaches to self-determination. 89 . value, rights and contributions of Aboriginal peoples in . What is the connection/s between land ownership. indigenous land and resource rights is the cornerstone of indigenous self- . RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND TITER RELATIONSHIP TO LAND.

When started Aboriginal self-determination in Australia? The first expression of Aboriginal self-determination is usually said to be in when the Whitlam government abolished the White Australia Policy and introduced a policy of self-determination.

The AAPA attracted widespread support from Aboriginal communities and established 11 branches with a membership of more than at a time when the Aboriginal Protection Board reported the total Aboriginal population of NSW as less than 7, [6].

In its manifesto the AAPA demanded [6] 40 acres of land to be granted to each and every Aboriginal family in Australia, to end the policy of child removal from their families by the Aboriginal Protection Board, to replace the Aboriginal Protection Board by an all-Aboriginal body to oversee Aboriginal affairs, citizenship for Aboriginal people within their own country, a Royal Commission into Aboriginal affairs, the federal government to take control of Aboriginal affairs, and the right to protect a strong Aboriginal cultural identity.

The North American experience shows that self-determination pays off, provided that Aboriginal tribes not only assume responsibility for their own affairs but invest time and energy in building governing institutions that can capably exercise decision-making power and that have the support of their own peoples.

Non-Aboriginal governments must then take self-determination seriously. Dozens of treaties have been signed in the United States and Canada which afford First Nations communities varying degrees of genuine self-determination, from controlling their own schooling to giving them a real capacity to generate an economic base [10].

There are more than Native American tribal courts across at least 32 states in the US, which handle everything from criminal matters to family court. Native American corporations and individuals are exempt from various state and federal taxes, including state income tax for people living on reservations.

It includes background information on each agreement; links to related agreements, organisations, signatories and events; a glossary of relevant terminology as well as direct access to published and on-line resources. The Government of Canada recognizes that reconciliation and self-government require a renewed fiscal relationship, developed in collaboration with Indigenous nations, that promotes a mutually supportive climate for economic partnership and resource development.

The Government of Canada recognizes that reconciliation is an ongoing process that occurs in the context of evolving Indigenous-Crown relationships. The co-development process for developing this proposal is part of an early effort to advance fundamental change. Are Indigenous Peoples in Canada entitled to self-determination or are we simply a Canadian minority?

Indigenous Self-Determination Begins with Decision-Making Since forming government inPrime Minister Justin Trudeau has borrowed a page from his Liberal predecessors and operated in a non-transparent top-down approach using the Assembly of First Nations, the Provincial-Territorial Organizations and local largely Indian Act Chiefs to get consent to the federal changes to policy, law and structure. The real rights holders are excluded from the Federal-AFN decision-making process.

relationship between land rights and aboriginal self determination

The real rights holders are the Indigenous First Nations individuals, families, communities and Nations. All of these bodies from the band office to the AFN in Ottawa are controlled by the federal government in Ottawa. Article 18 Indigenous peoples have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by themselves in accordance with their own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop their own indigenous decision-making institutions.

It is long past time that Indigenous First Nation Peoples start organizing locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and start demanding Crown recognition of the Indigenous… Click to Tweet The UNDRIP standard sets out that Indigenous Peoples through their own procedures and institutions should choose Indigenous representatives.

Stanner explained the Indigenous relationship to land in Western concepts as follows: No English words are good enough to give a sense of the links between an Aboriginal group and its homeland. Our word land is too spare and meagre. I have seen an Aboriginal embrace the earth he walked on…. This formed another rationale for land rights: For example, the federal government stated at the introduction of the Aboriginal Land Rights Northern Territory Bill that: It also acknowledges the spiritual importance of land to Indigenous culture and the continuing connection of Indigenous Australians to country, through customary law, association to place and Indigenous religions.

This is done not by giving legal protection to the interests under traditional laws as native title does now but instead by the grant of property titles familiar to the legal system based on traditional ownership or historical association. The Aboriginal Land Rights Northern Territory Act Cth makes traditional ownership the sole criteria for land claims despite the Woodward Royal Commission, which precipitated the Act, recommending the twin bases of traditional ownership and need.

Aboriginal self-determination and autonomy

For example, in Queensland, the Ministerial appointment of trustees to hold land on behalf of Aboriginal people, and trustee decisions to grant leases or other interests in land, must as far as possible be made in accordance with Aboriginal tradition or an agreed decision-making process.

This recognises the continuing connection Indigenous peoples have to specific areas of land post-contact, as the land granted is recognised to be culturally important and includes former reserve lands, missions, cemeteries or historic sites. Economic and social development Economic and social development for Indigenous Australians comprises a third important rationale for land rights legislation.

Land rights can provide a means for social development through creating a legal and geographical space for the exercise of Indigenous law, culture and self-governance. The practice of Indigenous law and culture strengthens individual autonomy, social norms of responsibility and social capital.

Land rights also encourages the establishment of Indigenous organisations to hold and manage land, providing governance structures, employment, and the development of knowledge, capacity and institutions for engagement with the broader economy and polity.

Further, land rights can provide a means for economic development through restoring Indigenous rights to land and natural resources, including minerals, which can be exploited where desired. It may also give Indigenous owners a financially valuable seat at the negotiating table with government and third parties through statutory control over what happens on their lands. The connection between land rights and Indigenous wellbeing and development was identified by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: It was the dispossession and removal of Aboriginal people from their land which has had the most profound impact on Aboriginal society and continues to determine the economic and cultural wellbeing of Aboriginal people to such a significant degree as to directly relate to the rate of arrest and detention of Aboriginal people…The nexus between inadequate or insufficient land provision for Aboriginal people and behaviour which leads to a high rate of arrests and detention of Aboriginal people has been repeatedly and directly observed in the reports of the deaths which were investigated.

For example, the Queensland Aboriginal Land Act Qld and Torres Strait Islander Land Act Qld enable land to be granted on the basis of economic or cultural viability, if the Queensland Land Tribunal is satisfied that granting the claim would assist in restoring, maintaining or enhancing the capacity for self-development, and the self-reliance and cultural integrity, of the group.

The legislation will restore responsibility to Torres Strait Islanders for the management of their lands in accordance with island custom. It is only by means such as this that the tide will be turned against continuing dependence on Government-provided welfare. Rather, it vests Aboriginal reserves in the statutory Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority, and provides for the management of Aboriginal reserves and the grant of ordinary freehold and leases to be held by the government-appointed Aboriginal Land Trust on behalf of Aboriginal people.

The Authority may now sell, lease or otherwise dispose of land it holds to any Aboriginal person on any conditions it thinks fit. Fostering the involvement of persons of Aboriginal descent in their own enterprises in all aspects of commerce, industry and production, including agriculture Making available such services as may be necessary to promote the effective control and management of land held in trust for persons of Aboriginal descent, and Taking, instigating or supporting such action as is necessary to promote the economic, social and cultural advancement of persons of Aboriginal descent in Western Australia.

This has centred on: Such leveraging can not only deliver economic benefits to traditional owners, it can also build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

As Nicholas Peterson argues: Only by creating rights which draw whites into negotiation with Aborigines on equal terms, which provide Aborigines with levels of funding that allow them to pursue self-defined goals and which establish structures in relation to land that are capable of independent action, is any effective and non-assimilatory resolution of the problems Aborigines and whites pose for each other likely to be reached.

relationship between land rights and aboriginal self determination

Needless to say, land rights is not a universal panacea but there are very few other options open to government seeking to establish a meaningful articulation between Aborigines and Australian society in the outback…people have to have something meaningful to make decisions about: Mining The strongest Indigenous rights in minerals pursuant to land rights legislation are in New South Wales and Tasmania.

A few statutes provide for compensation to be paid in recognition of the disturbance to traditional land from mining. Mining can take place on lands reserved under the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority Act WA with the consent of the Minister for Mines; and before granting his or her consent, the Minister must consult with the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Royalties must be paid to the Crown; 83 however, the Authority can receive royalties for the use of its land or natural resources which has been delegated to the Aboriginal Lands Trust.

Aboriginal self-determination & autonomy - Creative Spirits

Justice Woodward recommended that mining development on Aboriginal land not occur without the consent of the Aboriginal land owners because he thought that traditional laws and customs applied to mineral rights as well as the surface of the land. For example, the leaseback of Katherine Gorge and surrounds to the government as a national park was negotiated between the Northern Territory Government and Jawoyn people as recommended by the Aboriginal Land Commissioner on the land claim.

Every land rights statute bar one the Victorian Aboriginal Lands Act Vic allows land to be leased. Conversely, land rights land can only be sold in one jurisdiction: Further, if the land was transferred to the LALC as a result of a successful claim, the responsible Minister and the Crown Lands Minister must have both been notified.

However, the Ministers do not have power to veto a disposal.

relationship between land rights and aboriginal self determination

The processes and issues involved in the sale, lease and mortgaging of land rights land are considered in depth in Chapter 2, including through case studies of the Northern Territory and New South Wales. Financial resources Access to financial resources provides an independent means for Indigenous communities to work towards economic development under their own direction and with some autonomy from government.

Two key existing institutions were established in tandem with land rights to assist Indigenous landowners accumulate financial resources: The earnings from this fund are allocated to the Aboriginal land council system, but the capital base remains intact.

Indigenous Self-Determination and Land Rights: Confronting Trudeau’s Fake Reconciliation Promises

It makes payments to land councils, incorporated Aboriginal entities in areas affected by mining, and for the benefit of Aboriginal-incorporated entities in the Northern Territory generally according to the statutory formula outlined above.

Most land rights legislation started with the transfer of ownership over former reserves to Indigenous peoples, and many now allow claims over unused Crown land.

relationship between land rights and aboriginal self determination

Reserves were established as areas of land to hold, control and protect Indigenous people as pastoralism and mining extended across Australia and the traditional owners were moved to make way for mining and grazing cattle and sheep. The Land and Emigration Commission, appointed in to provide government assistance to encourage British migrants to come to Australia, argued that the government must have the power to change the location of reserves when necessary The extent to which Indigenous people can potentially benefit from market based activities on their land depends very much on the location and nature of that land.

Remoteness from markets and population centres adds to the costs of delivering products and services from Indigenous communities. Opportunities to profit from mining, agriculture and tourism depend, respectively, on the presence of certain minerals, rainfall and soil fertility, and places and activities that appeal to tourists There are limited data on the extent to which Indigenous people use their land for various economic or other purposes and the benefits they obtain from it.

Self-determination The fourth rationale for land rights legislation is Indigenous self-determination. A number of governments sought to distinguish their approach to Indigenous affairs policy from that of preceding eras, particularly the discredited approach of assimilation, by granting land rights. As immigration to the colony rapidly increased, it was predicted that Aboriginal people would soon die out.

  • Indigenous Self-Determination and Land Rights: Confronting Trudeau’s Fake Reconciliation Promises
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As soldiers returning from World War I were provided farming blocks, increasing the non-Indigenous demand for land, Aboriginal reserves were closed and residents dispersed. Inthe first Commonwealth-State Native Welfare Conference was held, attended by representatives from all the states and the Northern Territory except Tasmania.

This was the first time Indigenous affairs were discussed at a national level. The Conference agreed that assimilating Indigenous people into non-Indigenous society should be the goal of government policy: Assimilation means, in practical terms that, in the course of time, it is expected that all persons of Aboriginal birth or mixed blood in Australia will live like white Australians do.

The policy of assimilation left no room for cultural diversity or self-directed autonomy for Indigenous Australians. The Government believes that it is wholly wrong to encourage Aboriginals to think that because their ancestors have had a long association with a particular piece of land, Aboriginals of the present day have the right to demand ownership of it…This does not mean that Aboriginals cannot own land.

They can, and do. Self-determination in domestic policy was seen as: The retreat was, however, largely symbolic as it overlay a continuity of institutional development and reform of Indigenous policy and programs, most notably in the development of Indigenous community organisations and through the introduction of the Aboriginal Land Rights Northern Territory Act Cth.

A number of land rights statutes have been in pursuit of one or the other of these policies. Self-determination in international law This approach to Indigenous affairs reflected an acknowledgement of the injustices of colonisation, in international politics and law following World War II.

As outlined in the Social Justice Reportthe concept of self-determination has since evolved from this decolonisation framework. Its application to Indigenous peoples is currently being debated at the international level with negotiations for the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. There is already jurisprudence from decisions by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which clearly identifies self-determination as a right held by indigenous peoples, including in Australia.