Publication Details

Harris, M., Carlson, B. and Poata-Smith, E. S. (2013). Indigenous identities and the politics of authenticity. In M. Harris, M. Nakata and B. Carlson (Eds.), The Politics of Identity: Emerging Indigeneity (pp. 1-9). Sydney: University of Technology Sydney E-Press.

Link to publisher version (URL)

ePress - UTS

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9780987236920


The very question of Indigenous authenticity, as Jeffrey Sissons reminds us, ‘‘…has deep roots within colonial racism’’ (2005, 43). Racialisation and the practice of creating and imbuing racial categories with seemingly impermeable boundaries and indestructible meanings has, after all, underpinned a range of colonial practices from the systematic alienation of Indigenous land and resources to child abduction. Regimes of biological and cultural authenticity continue to shape state policies and practices that regulate the everyday lives of Indigenous people around the world. Indeed, in some contexts, expectations of Indigenous cultural purity or environmental naturalness exist alongside the imposition of varying degrees of blood quantum as criteria for citizenship, political recognition and access to resources and services.