Other People’s Country thinks through the entangled objects of law – legislation, policies, institutions, treaties and so on – that ‘govern’ waters and that make bodies of water ‘lawful’ within settler colonial sites today. Informed by the theoretical interventions of cosmopolitics and political ecology, each opening up new approaches to questions of politics and ‘the political’, the chapters in this book locate these insights within material settler colonial ‘places’ rather than abstract structures of domination. A claim to water – whether by Indigenous peoples or settlers – is not simply a claim to a resource. It is a claim to knowledge and to the constitution of place and therefore, in the terms of Isabelle Stengers, to the continued constitution of the past, present and future of real worlds. Including contributions from the fields of anthropology, cultural studies, cultural geography, critical legal studies, and settler colonial studies, this collection not only engages with issues of law, water and entitlement in different national contexts – including Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, New Caledonia and the USA – but also from diverse disciplinary and institutional contexts. This book was originally published as a special issue of Settler Colonial Studies.
Introduction: Other people’s country: law, water, entitlement 1. Remembering ‘the blackfellows’ dam’: Australian Aboriginal water management and settler colonial riparian law in the upper Roper River, Northern Territory 2. Contested sites, land claims and economic development in Poum, New Caledonia 3. ‘Nothing never change’: mapping land, water and Aboriginal identity in the changing environments of northern Australia’s Gulf Country 4. Decolonising Indigenous water ‘rights’ in Australia: flow, difference, and the limits of law 5. Returning to the water to enact a treaty relationship: the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign 6. The sensible order of the eel 7. What has water got to do with it? Indigenous public housing and Australian settler-colonial relations 8. First law and the force of water: law, water, entitlement