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New unit explores Indigenous sovereignty

The idea of treaties with Indigenous Australians will be one of the issues explored in a unit being offered at Charles Darwin University for the first time.

Unit Coordinator and Senior Lecturer Greg Williams said the new unit was part of the Graduate Certificate of Indigenous Engagement, a program run externally by the College of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Society.

“We’ll explore a number of ways in which Indigenous people have expressed their sovereignty,” Mr Williams said.

“We’ll look at developments in social, judicial and political history including the presentation of the Bark Petition to Federal Parliament, the Barunga Statement, the establishment of the Tent Embassy, 2017’s UIuru Statement and other events that have shaped the national narrative of Indigenous Australia.”

Senior Lecturer Greg Williams. Image courtesy of CDU

Mr Williams said it was important for students to understand the interplay between the concept of Indigenous sovereignty, the processes of colonisation and the challenges of reconciliation.

“These are matters of national significance in the light of current debate in Victoria and elsewhere around the country,” he said.

“In June 2018, the Territory Government and the land councils signed a historic memorandum of understanding paving the way for consultations to begin with Aboriginal people about a treaty.

“And in July 2018 we saw a bill passed in Melbourne that puts Victoria on course to become the first state to negotiate a treaty with its First Peoples.”

Mr Williams said “Indigenous Sovereignty and the Challenges of Reconciliation” would start on Monday 16 July, 2018. He invited prospective students wishing to discuss the course to call 8946 6467 or send an email to

Source: CDU

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