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Fragile Settlements


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Fragile Settlements compares the historical processes through which British colonial authority was asserted over Indigenous people in southwest Australia and prairie Canada from the 1830s to the early twentieth century.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Settler Colonialism and Its Legacies1 British Law and Colonial Legal Regimes2 The Foundations of Colonial Policing3 Policing Aboriginal People on the Settler Frontier4 Co-optive Policing: Native Police, Trackers, and Scouts5 Agents of Protection and Civilization6 Aboriginal Peoples and Settlers in the Courts7 Agents of the Church8 Agency and Resistance: Aboriginal Responses to Colonial Authority9 Colonizing and Decolonizing the PastConclusion: Spaces of Indigenous and Settler LawNotes; Bibliography; Index of Statutes, Treaties, Charters, and Proclamations; Table of Reported Cases; Index

About the Author

Amanda Nettelbeck is a professor in the School of Humanities at the University of Adelaide, Australia. She has published extensively on the history of the settler frontier and the colonial governance of Indigenous people. Her books co-authored with Robert Foster include Out of the Silence: The History and Memory of South Australia's Frontier Wars and In the Name of the Law: William Willshire and the Policing of the Australian Frontier. Russell Smandych is a professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Manitoba, Canada. He is a specialist in criminal justice and comparative British colonial legal history and has published extensively in these fields, including in Legal History, Law and History Review, Criminal Justice History: An International Annual, and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. Louis A. Knafla is a professor emeritus at the University of Calgary. He co-edited, with Haijo Westra, Aboriginal Title and Indigenous Peoples: Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Some of his work on the history of the law in western Canada appeared in Laws and Societies in the Canadian Prairie West, 1670-1940 and in Law and Justice in a New Land: Essays in Western Canadian Legal History. Robert Foster is an associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide, Australia. He is a specialist in Australian Indigenous history and has written extensively on conflict between Aboriginal people and settlers on the Australian frontier, including in Journal of Australian Colonial History, History Australia, Aboriginal History and Australian Historical Studies.


Fragile Settlements is a testament to the benefits of collaboration and an answer to the daunting logistics of comparing multiple historic sites ... [It] is a valuable contribution to the historiographies of Canada and Australia.-- Kenton Storey, independent historian, Canada * Australian Historical Studies *

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