Indigenous Paper

Submitted By alpey12
Words: 2119
Pages: 9

After multiple centuries of assimilation, discrimination, racism, murder and abuse the Aboriginal people’s Stolen Generation is far from a fallacy. Although the Australian government has tried to legitimize its actions towards the Indigenous people, it has still violated their basic human rights. It was not until four years ago, that the government addressed the Aboriginal people, and taken clear responsibilities for their actions. For close to a century, the government removed Aboriginal children from their families in order to assimilate the population. The goal was to assimilate the Aboriginal children into European society, thus leading to the eventual destruction of Aboriginal culture. This tactic was used on both the Native Americans, as well as Africans imported to America. All three cases are nowhere near fallacious; the fact that children were taken from their families cannot be overlooked. The Stolen Generation is beyond legitimate; the only fallacy is the belief that the Australian government did such a terrible act for good measure.
“Welfare officers, removing children solely because they were Aboriginal, intended and arranged that they should lose their Aboriginality, and that they never return home”(Peter Read. Australian National University).1 The term “the stolen generation,” refers to the Aboriginal children taken from their parents in order to integrate Aboriginals into British society and culture. This was attempted in attempts to end Aboriginal customs all together, so there would be one society in Australia. In simple terms, the federal and state governments of Australia attempted to kill of the Aboriginal people and culture by separating the youngest generation from their culture. The stolen generation officially began in 1869, when the Australian government established the Board for the Protection of Aborigines.2 It was said that the board was put in place to protect the Aboriginal people, but in reality it was just a scheme by the government to further more control the Aboriginals. The board was later followed by the Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act in 1897. This act allowed the “Chief Protector” to remove Aboriginal people and place them onto different reserves, as well as relocate children to dormitories separated from their parents. Aboriginals could basically be stripped of all human rights, and their lives were run by the government and its elected officials.3 As time progressed more acts were established that increased the governments control on Aboriginal people. Each time a new act was passed, it seemed as though each originated from the Aboriginal Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act. In 1905 the Chief Protector was made the official legal guardian of all Aboriginal and “half-caste” children under the age of 16. Soon after in 1911, the Chief Protector was granted custody over all children under the age of 21. The Chief Protector was also granted the ability to decide where the children were located to and lived. At this time, the Australian government had control of Aboriginal children until they were young adults. This was the full intent of the Australian government; it was the attempt to assimilate an entire people. The final power that the Aborigines Protection Board was given was the ability to take Aboriginal children without a court hearing. This happened in 1915, less than one hundred years from the present. It was approximated that up to 100,000 Aboriginal children were taken from their families between 1910 and 1970, most of the children were under five years old.4 In January of 1998, Australians for Native Title launched their Sorry Books Campaign. In this campaign, anyone was able to sign a sorry book in regards to the federal government refusing to make an apology. On April 4th 2000, the federal government issued the statement, “The government is concerned that there is no reliable basis for what appears to be a generally accepted…