Journal of Australian Studies
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On January 26 2002, the thirtieth anniversary of the creation of the first Aboriginal tent embassy was celebrated. In 1972 the tent embassy emerged from the Black Power movement as a manifestation of the call for recognition of Aboriginal sovereignty and the right to self-determination. These claims have been raised continually by some prominent Aboriginal activists, but the main answer given by the government has been the creation of Aboriginal policies and sections for Aboriginal people within the Australian political system. The government, by different means, has brought Aboriginal activists within the system and has diverted attention from their aspirations. What I would like to point out in this article is that the government has answered claims for a dialogue with an imposed monologue. I would also like to stress that some activists have found ways to take advantage of the circumstances imposed upon them and have developed a dialogue from within governmental institutions. I d o not pretend to give a full description of the different means used by Aboriginal people to gain recognition of their rights; I aim only to give an account of some strategies utilised by Indigenous Australians in their fight against political marginalisation.