Abstract: There is a complex geography to Aboriginal-dingo-settler-dog relationships in Australia. This paper examines aspects of that geography in a world heritage area, heavily contested by multiple stakeholders for whom the dingo has come to represent resource and identity, as well as a powerful symbol of nature. The Butchulla people were recently recognised in Australian law as holding native title to world-heritage listed K’gari-Fraser Island, a decision that confers recognition and consultation rights; however, genuine ownership and control of the island is denied through a lack of joint management of the island. This paper reviews evidence from some Butchulla people who declare their ongoing dispossession through various discourses and actions that attempt to circumvent extinguishment of their title to territory. They implied that dingoes have equally endured dispossession and extinguishment of territory through common colonial discourses that subjugate the ‘other’, albeit Butchulla people and dingoes have different forms of resistance and agency. Butchulla people in our study parallel their treatment under colonial structures of governance with those of the dingo in that both have endured limited freedom of movement and expressions of sovereignty. We argue some Butchulla people liken notions of dingo agency and resistance with their own attempts to assert sovereignty and responses to displacement. Aligning with the dingo (and broader discourses and politics that surround the dingo) may afford Butchulla people a greater entitlement to be a major voice in dingo ‘management’ specifically, and management of the island more broadly, than their native title resolution confers.


Excerpt: It is not news to readers of Native South that the standard definitions of “southerners,” “southern culture,” and “southern history” exclude American Indians. In the essay that introduced this journal to the public in 2008, founding editors James Taylor Carson, Robbie Ethridge, and Greg O”Brien voiced their frustrations about the field”s myopia. “The metanarrative,” they observed, reveals “a deep impression that southern social relations were singly derived from and are still predicated on the binary racial construct of black and white.” Their observation remains accurate nearly a decade later. Debates continue to focus extensively upon the consequences of tobacco, rice, and cotton culture. Prominent works on southern history explore in great detail the origins and evolution of African slavery, the emergence of a planter mentalité, the development of slave societies, the violence inherent in early modern race relations, and the contradiction between the rhetoric of the American Revolution and the reality of slavery. They subsequently examine the political, social, religious, economic, and gendered debates that sowed the seeds of sectional controversy as the nineteenth century progressed. After the Civil War, southern historiography focuses heavily on economic discrimination, white supremacy campaigns, the construction of Jim Crow laws, the Great Migration, and the origins and evolution of the long civil rights movement. This narrative is unquestionably sophisticated and illuminating, and has come a long way since the days of the “Lost Cause” espoused by scholars such as J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, U. B. Phillips, and William Archibald Dunning. But the metanarrative remains the same: to study southern history is to explore a biracial story.