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Overcoming the Myth of Extinction: The Path Toward Heritage Rights for the Tasmanian Aboriginals

Overcoming the Myth of Extinction: The Path Toward Heritage Rights for the Tasmanian Aboriginals Heritage rights figure prominently in the contemporary efforts of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community to reassert their identity and regain self-determination. A belief has persisted that the Tasmanian Aboriginals became extinct in 1876 as a result of colonization. Consequently, heritage is a contentious political issue in Tasmania, with dispute long focused on efforts to replace the state Aboriginal heritage protection legislation, the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975. A proposed new heritage protection Bill failed to pass Tasmanian Parliament in 2013, but an Amendment to the original Act was passed in 2017. This article analyzes the discourses that surround Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage in the past, proposed, and currently enforced protection legislation, highlighting areas where perspectives toward Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage have changed or entrenched. Of emphasis in the investigation are the definitions of heritage utilized in the legislation, the role of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community in heritage identification and protection, and penalties for damaging heritage sites. Incorporating interviews and analysis of legislation and stakeholder commentaries, the paper demonstrates the influence of the “myth of extinction” and areas where colonially derived attitudes persist in Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage legislation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Heritage & Society (formerly Heritage Management) Taylor & Francis

Overcoming the Myth of Extinction: The Path Toward Heritage Rights for the Tasmanian Aboriginals

Overcoming the Myth of Extinction: The Path Toward Heritage Rights for the Tasmanian Aboriginals

Heritage & Society (formerly Heritage Management) , Volume 10 (1): 23 – Jan 2, 2017

Abstract

Heritage rights figure prominently in the contemporary efforts of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community to reassert their identity and regain self-determination. A belief has persisted that the Tasmanian Aboriginals became extinct in 1876 as a result of colonization. Consequently, heritage is a contentious political issue in Tasmania, with dispute long focused on efforts to replace the state Aboriginal heritage protection legislation, the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975. A proposed new heritage protection Bill failed to pass Tasmanian Parliament in 2013, but an Amendment to the original Act was passed in 2017. This article analyzes the discourses that surround Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage in the past, proposed, and currently enforced protection legislation, highlighting areas where perspectives toward Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage have changed or entrenched. Of emphasis in the investigation are the definitions of heritage utilized in the legislation, the role of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community in heritage identification and protection, and penalties for damaging heritage sites. Incorporating interviews and analysis of legislation and stakeholder commentaries, the paper demonstrates the influence of the “myth of extinction” and areas where colonially derived attitudes persist in Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage legislation.

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References (85)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
2159-0338
eISSN
2159-032X
DOI
10.1080/2159032X.2018.1457300
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Heritage rights figure prominently in the contemporary efforts of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community to reassert their identity and regain self-determination. A belief has persisted that the Tasmanian Aboriginals became extinct in 1876 as a result of colonization. Consequently, heritage is a contentious political issue in Tasmania, with dispute long focused on efforts to replace the state Aboriginal heritage protection legislation, the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975. A proposed new heritage protection Bill failed to pass Tasmanian Parliament in 2013, but an Amendment to the original Act was passed in 2017. This article analyzes the discourses that surround Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage in the past, proposed, and currently enforced protection legislation, highlighting areas where perspectives toward Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage have changed or entrenched. Of emphasis in the investigation are the definitions of heritage utilized in the legislation, the role of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community in heritage identification and protection, and penalties for damaging heritage sites. Incorporating interviews and analysis of legislation and stakeholder commentaries, the paper demonstrates the influence of the “myth of extinction” and areas where colonially derived attitudes persist in Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage legislation.

Journal

Heritage & Society (formerly Heritage Management)Taylor & Francis

Published: Jan 2, 2017

Keywords: Heritage protection; heritage discourses; Indigenous rights; Tasmanian Aboriginal; cultural heritage; Australia; discourse analysis; Indigenous heritage

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