Antagonistic Representations of Space Between the Aboriginal Noongars and the Australian State

Abstract : This article seeks to account for the antagonistic representations of space between the Aboriginal Noongars of the South West of Western Australia and the Australian State in the context of the Noongars’ native title claims, both in Courts and through a negotiation process. First, during the trials, the Noongars faced the State of Western Australia and the Federal State around the concept of society, which the native title legislation imposes. The Noongars had to comply with the requirements of the law, but faced with the rigid legal approach of the concept of society defended by their opponents, they sought to soften its definition to reflect the flexibility and dynamism that characterizes their conception of space and their social and territorial organisation. The Noongars then negotiated with the State of Western Australia to resolve their land claims and obtain a comprehensive economic, social, financial and political agreement. The Noongars and the State of Western Australia brought their perspectives closer together during this negotiation process. The Noongars’ conception of space and social and territorial organisation was rationalized through the establishment of a system of governance, the political basis of the Noongar nation in the making. This formalization was asked for by a majority of Noongars as it would allow them to remain united, to function and prosper, but also to be recognized by the State and thus gain a certain amount of autonomy.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 9, 2019 - 8:57:26 AM
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Virginie Bernard. Antagonistic Representations of Space Between the Aboriginal Noongars and the Australian State. Représentations dans le monde anglophone, CEMRA, 2019, Mapping Mobility - Cartographies en mouvement, 2019.1, pp.9-27. ⟨halshs-02281258⟩

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