Fragile Settlements: Aboriginal Peoples, Law, and Resistance in South-West Australia and Prairie Canada

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Fragile Settlements compares the processes by which colonial authority was asserted over Indigenous people in south-west Australia and prairie Canada from the 1830s to the early twentieth century. At the start of this period, there was an explosion of settler migration across the British Empire. In a humanitarian response to the unprecedented demand for land, Britain’s Colonial Office moved to protect Indigenous peoples by making them subjects under British law. This book highlights the parallels and divergences between these connected British frontiers by examining how colonial actors and institutions interpreted and applied the principle of law in their interaction with Indigenous peoples on the ground. Fragile Settlements questions the finality of settler colonization and contributes to ongoing debates around jurisdiction, sovereignty, and the prospect of genuine Indigenous-settler reconciliation in Canada and Australia.

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About the author (2016)

Amanda Nettelbeck is a professor in the School of Humanities at the University of Adelaide. Russell Smandych is a professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Manitoba. Louis A. Knafla is a professor emeritus at the University of Calgary. Robert Foster is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide.

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