Feature

More Aboriginal than thou

The week's news at a glance.

Hobart, Australia

The indigenous community in the Australian island state of Tasmania is bickering over who has the right to claim Aboriginal heritage. Elections are coming up for a powerful committee that controls millions of dollars in funding for indigenous causes. Many candidates are accusing one another of fabricating Aboriginal ancestry to boost their chances of election. White colonists killed most of the Aboriginal population in the 19th century, and survivors fled to a nearby island and intermarried with white whalers. Their descendants, who look largely white, claim to be the only true Aborigines of Tasmania. A separate group of Tasmanians claim to be the real natives, saying they’re the descendants of Aborigines who did not flee.

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