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Mistress of EverythingQueen Victoria in Indigenous Worlds$
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Sarah Carter and Maria Nugent

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781784991401

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784991401.001.0001

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Bracelets, blankets and badges of distinction: Aboriginal subjects and Queen Victoria’s gifts in Canada and Australia

Bracelets, blankets and badges of distinction: Aboriginal subjects and Queen Victoria’s gifts in Canada and Australia

Chapter:
(p.210) Chapter Nine Bracelets, blankets and badges of distinction: Aboriginal subjects and Queen Victoria’s gifts in Canada and Australia
Source:
Mistress of Everything
Author(s):

Amanda Nettelbeck

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781784991401.003.0009

The long period of Queen Victoria’s reign witnessed a range of transitions in conceptions of colonial diplomacy and imperial governance. Gifts exchanged between Aboriginal people and the sovereign or her representatives indicate a great deal about those transitions, as well as about Aboriginal people’s capacity to assert cultural autonomy even as they expressed loyalty to the Crown. This paper compares some of the different contexts in nineteenth-century Canada and Australia where Aboriginal people figured as recipients of the Queen’s gifts, particularly in commemorative moments that celebrated the ideals of Empire and British sovereignty. In considering how these gifts were received and how they circulated, it explores some of the different meanings these gifts might have held, and the potentially unsettled relationships they implied between Aboriginal people and the British Crown.

Keywords:   Colonial diplomacy, Queen’s Birthday, Indigenous politics, sovereignty, Australia, Canada

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