In Kind or Monetary Restitution? Historic Wrongs and Indigenous Land Claims

  •  Scott Morrison    


Native peoples in North America, Australia and New Zealand have (sometimes successfully) demanded compensation for seizures of their ancestral lands. This article sets out the arguments against restitution in these and other cases. It then offers up a defense of “in kind” restitution, that is, the return of lands or other property misappropriated. As a pertinent case study this article narrates the story of the Sioux tribes of the mid-western United States. They have sought to recover lands in and around the Black Hills of South Dakota. Offering a view of the historical and contemporary collective cultural and spiritual significance of the Black Hills and the history of dispossession therefrom, this article traces the Sioux’s individual and tribal efforts both through the legal system and the courts and into the US federal government where a bill was unsuccessfully put forward in an effort to resolve their claims.

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