Aboriginal reserve

/æbəˌrɪdʒənəl rəˈzɜv/ (say abuh.rijuhnuhl ruh'zerv)

(in Australia) a reserve (def. 12) formerly put aside for habitation by Aboriginal people.
From the 1860s, Acts were passed in each of the colonies providing for proclamation of areas reserved for Aboriginal people. These were not specific portions of tribal lands, but were areas chosen unilaterally by officials and controlled by the colonial (later state) authorities, who had power to send Aboriginal people to reserves and to transfer them from reserve to reserve. Aboriginal occupants had no right of tenure. Most early reserves were not large; the vast reserves in central Australia and Arnhem Land were created in the 1920s. From the late 1960s, most extant reserves were transferred to some form of Aboriginal ownership.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

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