Abstract: Indigenous peoples around the world are increasingly claiming and exercising sovereignty and self-determination. One important method for this is through economic development, but this raises tensions between Indigenous values and those of the marketplace. While this tension is real, we argue that economic development that is underpinned by Aboriginal values is an act of prefigurative resistance and helps nations move towards self-determination. Based on ethnographic research with the Gugu Badhun Aboriginal nation, we explore theories of recognition and anticolonialism through economic development processes. The experience of Gugu Badhun indicates that a contemporary Aboriginal economy can have very different values to those of neoliberalism, but also demonstrates that this is a slow process that must be built on a firm cultural foundation. In so doing, Gugu Badhun are navigating the tensions and working through them in a process of self-determination in action.