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Aboriginal Sovereignty And Reconciliation

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Discuss About The Aboriginal Sovereignty And Reconciliation?




This article discussed the Aboriginal Embassy as an inspirational demonstration of the fifth for land rights as well as the self-determination of the Aboriginal. This is especially in the reoccupation of the land that is in front of the parliament house for a half a year in 1972. Since then, the protesters have strived to maintain the embassy on the particular location as a statement for their continued Aboriginal struggle. Monumentally, 20 years later in 1992, the demonstrators pronounced Aboriginal sovereignty. This was instrumental at the time since state-instituted reconciliation talks were kicking off in the country. In the Australian public discourse, the reconciliation process is always in tandem with progressive politics (Muldoon & Schaap, 2012).

The paper examines how reactionary politics especially those related to the reconciliation process impact the fight for land rights as well as the Embassy’s sovereignty. According to Muldoom and Schaap, the sovereignty of the state and democratic praxis are related. As can be seen from the case of Antonio Negri, the Embassy is deemed as one way in which the constituted power of the Aboriginal people can be exhibited. The same applies to those who do not support them. Until today, the Aboriginals still feel that their independence and sovereignty was not ceded underlining why they are always revolting.  The authors also posit that the Australian state appropriates to prop up its claims regarding sovereignty that are hugely flawed. They go ahead to illustrate this proposition by drawing comparisons between the symbolism of the Reconciliation Place in Canberra and the Aboriginal Embassy.

 They outline various ways in which the Embassy exploits the fact that the Aboriginal people are ambiguous. This makes them appear as citizens that live within and without the community that is presupposed by the country. By so doing the Embassy brings forth the probability of there being a break with the past-the colonial era- then we see it in the reconciliatory politics which on the face of it the state has failed to implement. 


This article was very useful since it helped me understand the never-ending struggles between the Aboriginals and the Embassy. Apart from just shading light on the subject, it helped me understand why the reconciliation process is long overdue.  According to the authors, the reconciliation process has been hindered by politics that oftentimes defocus the whole objectives, the article is replete with evidence regarding this. Reading this material was quite intimidating at the beginning due to its size. I had to jot down little notes for the eventual summarization. The emphasis on how the Aboriginals and the Embassy are related was particularly instrumental in comprehending how the phenomena affect the country’s wellbeing (Watson, 2017).

The politics of atonement have come to shape the current political landscape of the country thus underlining their significance. They are also central to the reconciliation process that is now age-old. The apology of the stolen generations is another important aspect of the nations that are worth considering in this context. Atonement is all about making the sidelined communities feel again part of the national discourse (Goodall, 2016). Thus making them realize as beneficiaries of otherwise what was initially considered to be privileges of other communities in the past can be an instrumental part of the reconciliation process. Racial ideas have been central to the atonement process. Initially, there attempts to limit cover for acts of discrimination by maintaining the status quo which was a significant hindrance to their effectiveness. However, things are changing significantly with each passing day.



Muldoon, P., & Schaap, A. (2012). Aboriginal sovereignty and the politics of

Reconciliation: the constituent power of the Aboriginal Embassy in Australia.

Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 30(3), 534-550.

Newfong, J. (2012). The Aboriginal Embassy. Identity.

Dow, C. (2015). Aboriginal Tent Embassy: icon or eyesore?.

Lothian, K. (2017). Moving blackwards: Black power and the Aboriginal Embassy.

Watson, I. (2017). The Aboriginal Tent Embassy 28 Years After it was Established:

Interview with Isobell Coe. Indigenous Law Bulletin, 5(1), 17-8.

Goodall, H. (2016). Invasion to embassy: land in Aboriginal politics in New South Wales,

1770-1972. Sydney University Press.


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