Against Native Title

'Against native title' is about a divisive native title claim in the town of Ceduna where the claims process has thoroughly reorganised local Aboriginal identities over the course of the past decade. The central character in this story is senior Aboriginal woman Sue Haseldine, who, with her extended family, have experienced native title as an unwelcome imposition: something that has emanated from the state and out of which they gained only enemies. But this is not simply a tale of conflict. Threaded throughout is the story of a twice-yearly event called 'rockhole recovery'; trips that involve numerous days of four-wheel drive travel to a series of permanent water sources and Dreaming sites. Through rockhole recovery Sue Haseldine and her family continue to care for, and maintain connections to country, outside of the native title process.

This is a vivacious and very human story, which pursues a controversial and much neglected line of enquiry in which native title is not necessarily seen as a force for recognition and Indigenous empowerment.

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Author /s
Dr Eve Vincent
Year published