API Network, $34.95 pb, 354 pp
The nomenclature of indigenous policy is apt to mislead, casting indigenous people as the passive objects of progressively more enlightened régimes: protection, assimilation, self-determination. This view is resonant in the history propagated by Keith Windschuttle, among others. Contesting Assimilation sets out to debunk this historically inaccurate idea and the implicit condescension in the view that denies any role for indigenous people in shaping the policy environment. As the essays in this volume attest, the development of indigenous policy can only be understood as a product of the interaction of indigenous and non-indigenous reformers, engaged in a struggle of ideas as to how best to resolve the social issues occasioned by colonisation.