Decolonization as practice: returning land to Indigenous control

Siobhan McDonnell, Ralph Regenvanu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Across Oceania land is the mother. At its core, the practice of decolonial research and activism involves a commitment to the principles of Indigenous self-determination and repatriation of Indigenous land. Beginning with our understanding of decolonial practice and the meanings of land in Vanuatu, in this article we explore decolonization as practice: our collaborative practice of working to reform land laws to end the large-scale leasing of customary land without the consent of Indigenous landowning groups. We are commonly viewed as an Indigenous leader, Ralph Regenvanu, and a non-Indigenous legal advisor, Siobhan McDonnell. While we acknowledge these positions, we also share backgrounds in anthropology, law and a commitment to core principles around returning land to Indigenous control. We conclude this article by discussing our shared commitment to a practice of reciprocity between the researcher and the community engaged in the research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)235-244
    JournalAlterNative: International Journal of Indigenous Peoples
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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