Culture

Australians Are Standing With Author Bruce Pascoe After Peter Dutton Referred Him To The Police

'Dark Emu' by Bruce Pascoe has been the focus of ire from conservative commentators since November.

Bruce Pascoe and Peter Dutton

Author Bruce Pascoe, best-known for his acclaimed non-fiction work Dark Emu, has reportedly been referred to the police by Peter Dutton over claims Pascoe has benefited from misleading others about his Indigenous identity.

The claims that Pascoe has “lied” about being Indigenous have been pushed since late last year. Much of the criticism of the author has stemmed from a website called “Dark Emu Exposed”, which claims to “fact-check” much of the information in that book.

Dark Emu throws the settler narrative into crisis, and argues that Indigenous people cultivated farms and agriculture long before the arrival of white colonialist forces.

Similarly critical of the book has been conservative commentator Andrew Bolt, who has written extensively about Pascoe and his work in his columns.

Late yesterday, as reported by The Australian, Dutton became involved in the case after being contacted by Josephine Cashman. Cashman is a business leader who has used her personal Twitter account to retweet criticisms of Bruce Pascoe. Dutton has referred Pascoe’s case to the Australian Federal Police.

The involvement of a leading member of the government in a case that has been pushed by right-wing columnists and reporters has shocked many Australians. On Twitter, supporters have rallied around Pascoe, noting that he has spent the last few months working as a volunteer firefighter.

More updates on this story are forthcoming.