Recruiting Aboriginal boys and men to the NMP: Part I

By Lynley Wallis, Heather Burke, Bryce Barker and Noelene Cole One of the infamous euphemisms in historical documents relating to the Native Mounted Police (NMP) is “dispersal”. This word has now been convincingly demonstrated to actually refer to the shooting and killing of Aboriginal people (Richards 2008). We suggest here that another euphemism is the […]

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“Taking French leave”: Desertions amongst the Troopers

By Lynley Wallis and Heather Burke The numerous accounts in official records of desertions by Aboriginal troopers lend weight to suggestions that many men did not join the Native Mounted Police (NMP) force willingly. In some cases entire detachments deserted, such as in 1865 when Lieutenant Charles Blakeney had this happen for the second time: […]

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’70 or 80 Natives Attacked the Party while Travelling’: Understanding the Spatial Dimension of Conflict on the Frontier

By Heather Burke Archaeologists are obsessed with space. Not the kind you can look up and see at night, but something more earthly—the physical relationships between things that can be transformed through measurement into a variety of maps and plans. Geographic information systems (GIS) are only the most recent way to capture and collect such […]

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‘Empty’ settler landscapes on Aboriginal Country

By Alyssa Madden When Europeans began expanding into Queensland Aboriginal people were—politically speaking—”invisible”. This invisibility was deeply ensconced in national ideological frameworks, including Terra nullius and the exclusion of Aboriginal people from the census. Historically, Australian First Nations peoples were largely ignored, or relegated to the status of being part of the landscape. In contrast, […]

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‘Exceptional, reward well deserved’: crescents and beads?

By Lynley Wallis In certain parts of Queensland it was the discovery of gold that was the main driving force behind the expansion of Europeans into the traditional lands of Aboriginal people. This was certainly the case in parts of Cape York Peninsula (CYP), where the discovery of the Palmer River goldfield in 1872 resulted […]

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