Noel Pearson Building Indigenous Capital

DRAWING ON THE WORK of Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, this paper outlines the obstacles to Indigenous capital formation, the impact of this in Australia and the need for a solution. The solution is not about a uniform surrender of underlying title but about finding solutions that increase the fungibility of Indigenous-owned assets within the constraints of inalienability. These may take the form of simplifying the requirements for long-term leases

or licences, exploring the potential of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs), and addressing the most basic stumbling block: the problem of home ownership. Each of these require discrete attention, and will be a focus of research and policy development work by the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership. At a broad level, Building Indigenous Capital will address the administrative and legal structures required to facilitate the participation of
Indigenous people in the mainstream economy.1

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