Welfare dependency and mutual obligation: Negating indigenous sovereignty

Darryl Cronin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The denial of sovereign rights has left Indigenous people with a welfare economy and has put the people in a position of ‘dependency’ where the people must rely on the benevolence of government. Indeed, many Indigenous people also see their social and economic situation as a creation of the dominant society where the Indigenous welfare economy is established primarily to benefit various other vested interests. Ah Mat argues there are strong forces and interests which contribute to Indigenous dependency because they profit from Indigenous passivity and resist Indigenous efforts to break away from a passive welfare economy. Welfare colonialism benefited governments, private enterprise and ultimately the Australian people because benefits accrued from the exploitation of Indigenous land, labour and money. Welfare colonialism also necessitated the creation of bureaucratic structures and institutions that control and manage the lives and affairs of Indigenous people and communities, and serve the purpose of insulating government from Indigenous scrutiny and demand.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSovereign Subjects
Subtitle of host publicationIndigenous Sovereignty Matters
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781000251180
ISBN (Print)9781741147247
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

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