Date of this Version
Published in Great Plains Research, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Fall 2018), p 226.
On the basis of extensive archival research into legal case files, government policy debates, newspaper reports, and interviews with key participants in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Miranda Johnson of the University of Sydney has written a well-crafted transnational history of indigenous activism, land, and indigeneity. From the early 1970s through to the mid-1990s, Indigenous activists in these three Commonwealth countries used groundbreaking legal strategies to reclaim unkept promises in aboriginal and treaty rights and seek justice owed to them. In concert with white judges, lawyers, and expert anthropologists, among others, these activists brought forth the importance of the umbilical bond between their peoples, time, space, and historical agency. The Land Is Our History articulates this intricate binding story and how it unsettles to the origins of the settler state. In so doing, Johnson follows a broadly chronological analysis connecting legal claims in Australia and Canada in the 1970s to those in New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s.