Decolonizing Solidarity

Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters of Indigenous Struggles

Clare Land
With a Foreword by Gary Foley


An essential work to be read by all non-Indigenous scholars and activists seeking solidarity with Indigenous struggles across the world

In this highly original and much-needed book, Clare Land interrogates the often fraught endeavours of activists from colonial backgrounds seeking to be politically supportive of Indigenous struggles. Blending key theoretical and practical questions, Land argues that the predominant impulses which drive middle-class settler activists to support Indigenous people cannot lead to successful alliances and meaningful social change unless they are significantly transformed through a process of both public political action and critical self-reflection.

Based on a wealth of in-depth, original research, and focussing in particular on Australia, where – despite strident challenges – the vestiges of British law and cultural power have restrained the nation's emergence out of colonizing dynamics, Decolonizing Solidarity provides a vital resource for those involved in Indigenous activism and scholarship.

Author Bio

Clare Land is a long-time supporter of Indigenous struggles. She works on research at Victoria University’s Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit, supports social change projects at the Reichstein Foundation, and consults to community organizations on race relations. Clare has been engaged since 1998 with the history and present of settler colonialism. An Anglo-identified non-Aboriginal person living and working in south-east Australia, inspired by Aboriginal struggles, she has undertaken community-based organizing in solid support of a range of Aboriginal-led campaigns. Since 2004 Clare has collaborated with Krauatungulung (Gunai)/Djapwurrung (Gunditjmara) man Robbie Thorpe on campaigns, projects and a long-running radio programme on 3CR in Fitzroy, Melbourne, which focuses on colonialism and resistance.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • 1. Land Rights, Sovereignty and Black Power in South-East Australia
  • 2. A Political Genealogy for Contemporary Non-Indigenous Activism in Australia
  • 3. Identity Categories: How Activists Both Use and Refuse Them
  • 4. Collaboration, Dialogue and Friendship: Always a Good Thing?
  • 5. Acting Politically with Self-Understanding
  • 6. A Moral and Political Framework for Non-Indigenous People's Solidarity
  • 7. Reckoning with Complicity
  • Conclusion: Solidarity with Other Struggles
  • Appendix I. Acronyms
  • Appendix II. Key Events and Organizations in South-East Indigenous Struggles
  • Appendix III. Biographies of People Involved in the Book
  • Appendix IV. Links to Original Activist Documents


'Excellent... The book is written in a way that is accessible to a range of allies outside academic circles and speaks to real case studies.'
Linda Tuhiwai Smith, author of Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples

'A nuanced and insightful examination of the complexity and challenges of being an ally to Indigenous struggles. It serves as an excellent and much-needed guide for all of us working for, with, or on behalf of marginalized and disenfranchised communities.'
Paul Kivel, educator, activist and author of Uprooting Racism

'A thoughtful and thought-provoking book. Both profound and practical, Land poses vital questions to the reader interested in solidarity and social change.'
Patta Scott-Villiers, Institute of Development Studies

'In this excellent book, Land covers an exceptional breadth of issues with considerable aplomb. It is a provocative and lively read, rich with data that brings indigenous voices to the fore.'
Damien Short, School of Advanced Study

‘[T]his book should be compulsory reading for non-Indigenous scholars, including postgraduate students, whose research interests revolve around Indigenous communities.’
State Crime

‘An ambitious and important book that comes at a pivotal time … I recommend reading it, reflecting, and reading it again.’
Canadian Journal of Education

‘Land provides meaningful and insightful accounts of community-based education initiatives necessary for solidarity movements.’
McGill Journal of Education

‘This timely and important book by Clare Land offers a critical resource to assist a new generation of activists … provides urgently needed and critically important reflections on the practices of solidarity activism that push beyond liberal models of solidarity politics.’
E3W Review of Books

‘Land’s book is an important contribution to an emergent “non-Indigenous progressive research agenda” … provides an opportunity to reflect on the nature of solidarity work more generally, posing broader questions of involvement and self-interest in solidarity politics and intersectional work for activists.’
Overland Literary Journal


Publication Date: 15 July 2015
336 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783601721
Hardback: 9781783601738
eBook ePub: 9781783601752
eBook PDF: 9781783601745
eBook Kindle: 9781783601769

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