This episode of of The Customary Land Podcast explores worldviews constitute the ‘Plurality of Registers‘ and the tension of navigating between customary and traditional relations to land as ‘ours’ versus the western materialism of possessive individualism that sees land as ‘mine’.
In part, this episode is triggered by the anachronism of a coronation in 2023, particularly when former empire and commonwealth is viewed from the plundered and brutalised indigenous perspective. The associated myth, embeddedness and tradition leads me to reflect on our recent proposal for a CLS team to review the role in Fiji of a contemporary Great Council of Chiefs to lead iTaukei society. These two events provide a segue to look at the customary counterpoint of the Melanesian Indigenous Land Defence Alliance (MILDA) from the perspective of Joel Simo (Symoh Joel) in a talk he gave at a meeting of AID/Watch in Sydney (14 November 2014 – the transcript is on pp.11-14 of this paper). As outlined in their Declarations, MILDA are against and form of land registration or leasing of customary land. This is a view that is reinforced by Act Now in PNG (see their 90 second very powerful video on ‘The Real Value of Customary Land‘). I also refer to the Declaration and Resolutions of the 2002 South Pacific Land Tenure Conflict Symposium.
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