We have the song, so we have the land: song and ceremony as proof of ownership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land claims

We have the song cover
Jun, 2013
Research project: 
Product type: 
Discussion paper
Volume number: 
33

This paper explores the importance of evidentiary references to song and ceremony in land claims under both the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth) (ALRA) and the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (NTA) and analyses judges’ reports to show how references to song and ceremony have figured in them.

The first section of the paper looks at how song and ceremony sit within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies. It will then move on to quantify the number of references in judges’ reports for each state. Finally, there will be a detailed examination of how terms such as song and ceremony have been used in different ways as evidence for rights to country.

Peer reviewed: 
Yes

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Last reviewed: 17 Jul 2017