This panel invites anthropologists working in Australia's Native Title sector to reflect on its underlying ethical, symbolic and theoretical issues. Participants will be addressing issues related to ethics, professionality, advocacy and the law, social justice and community and State politics.
This panel takes the conference theme 'Shifting States' as an opportunity to reflect on the Australian Nation State and Native Title in an evolving context. Since the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) was passed 25 years ago anthropologists working under its legal requirements have wrestled with imminent problems such as identifying the right group of Native Title claimants, the relevant laws and customs, the society at Sovereignty, historical adaptations and presentation of cultural information in a legal setting. Underlying ethical, symbolic and theoretical as well as ideological issues of Native Title can go unheeded as tight deadlines loom in difficult and sometimes protracted legal procedure. We invite anthropologists in Australia's Native Title sector, particularly those working in or for NTRBs, to think about the meaning of Native Title for the State and Native Title holders in their community and its implications. The evolving effects of Native Title on relationships in a community vary, and can include tensions between people who have Native Title and other residents who do not, and within Native Title holder groups. These effects are real and caused (but not limited) by matters such as development, State power (e.g. to fund or not to fund something), competition for access to resources or the economies of knowledge. Participants of this panel may also want to address issues related to ethics, professionality, advocacy and the law and social justice.