Unfinished Constitutional Business?: Rethinking Indigenous Self-determination

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Barbara Hocking
Aboriginal Studies Press, Jan 1, 2005 - Political Science - 293 pages
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Indigenous self-determination is the recognised right of all peoples to freely determine their political status, and pursue their economic, social and cultural development. "Unfinished Constitutional Business" offers fresh insights into the ways Indigenous peoples can chart their own course and realise self-determination. The right to self-determination remains the most hotly contested issue in the UN Working Group's Draft Declaration: because the history of colonisation is emotionally charged, the issue has been clouded by a rhetoric that has sometimes obstructed analysis. This book provides a comprehensive international exploration of Indigenous self-determination. It argues that patterns are emerging that point to effective strategies that will allow Indigenous peoples to realise their goals. The UN Working Group's definition of Indigenous peoples has been influenced by these different experiences of colonisation. Diverse jurisdictions are examined as it surveys both common law and civil law systems: from the Saami Parliaments of Scandinavia, to the Maori seats in the New Zealand Parliament, of the Australian Indigenous peoples struggle for native title and self-governance, to the Canadian experience in territorial governance. A selection of international authors challenge readers to (re)consider the meanings of self-determination and their implic-ations for Indigenous peoples in different contexts.

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About the author (2005)

Barbara Hocking is an associate professor at the School of Justice at Queensland University of Technology and an honorary research associate at the University of Tasmania's Riawunna Centre for Aboriginal Education.

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