In this research paper, I will be explaining how western colonialism and racism destroyed the reputation of aboriginal peoples in Canada. The reason why I chose this topic because it shows the strong relationship to anthropology and after taking aboriginal studies 30, it also shows that I have a clear understanding about the history of aboriginal peoples in Canada, the struggles they have been through over the past decade and the challenges they still face today in modern day society. I’ll be addressing these issues in a couple of paragraphs on the discrimination and the inequalities of these “minorities” and how they had to assimilate into European culture, leaving their way of life behind them.
For the last 200 years Indigenous people have been victims of discrimination, prejudice and disadvantage. Poor education, poor living conditions and general poverty are still overwhelming issues for a large percentage of our people and we remain ‘as a group, the most poverty stricken sector of the working class’ in Australia (Cuthoys 1983).
Reciprocity is not a simple concept when it comes to the Aboriginal culture. It can mean many different things depending on the situation it is being used to define. Reciprocity may be the notion of taking care of your kin as they will do for you. It might be the give and take between families and communities in which everyone shares what they have. Reciprocity may be being held responsible for your kin’s actions. It might be the approximately equal trades conducted between nearby communities. It may be the taking of a life in exchange for another. Reciprocity may be taking care of things such that they will be there when required. Reciprocity is in part to do with survival, for example when food and supplies are shared. Eckermann (2010,
Similarly the cultural value of the aboriginal also puts a heavy emphasis upon the social power system through family relationship structure known as Kinship (aboriginal culture 2015). It governs the behaviour, marriages and action of everyday life of an aboriginal (Indigenous Australia 2015) and provide moral and action guidelines. Elders of the aboriginal community regardless if they are a tribe, totemic groups or clans, are treated with respect for they teach skills, knowledge and personal experiences (Australian Museum 2015). Although through the rapid economic development of Australia and the introduction of technology into the aboriginal communities, some elders are undermined or even ignored by the tribes, particularly young members, in some tribes, elders still held a great amount of power in the daily life amongst the life of tribe members (Korff 2015).
When European colonists settled in Australia they treated the Aboriginal people extremely different to that of their fellow white men. The Aboriginals were not seen as first class citizens through the European eye and as a result were victims of extreme oppressions and had nearly no rights or freedoms. Since then Aboriginal people have fought to be treated equally to the white men through various different ways. I will discuss the previous struggles faced by the Aboriginals, the Australian strife for equality and finally the level of success and degree of rights and freedoms given to Aboriginals in modern Australia.
After this time, many atrocities occurred, such as the fact that Aboriginals were often killed for sport, and massacres such as Myall Creek were occurring, where 28 Aboriginal men, women and children were murdered near Myall Creek Station in 1838. There was also the problem of the Stolen Generation, when Aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their homes to be raised as though they were white. It was only recently in 2008, that Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia at the time, apologised for the actions that the government had undertaken. In another apologetic move, Prime Minister Paul Keating delivered a powerful speech regarding the fact that Aboriginal Communities were still segregated despite the fact that laws had been changed a number of years ago. This shows that the idea of atonement by Australia is quite a new topic. Does this prove the challenges that Aboriginal’s faced nearly 200 years ago are still present in today’s society? It was enough to force the Aboriginal men, women and children to begin act in support of their rights.
Australia’s Indigenous population is made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, each of whom, have discernible and diverse language, customs and cultures, spanning time immemorial (Reynolds, 2005). Aboriginal Australians maintain symbiotic interrelationships to Country, culture and kin (Sherwood, 2013), engaging in a worldview which holistically connects the wellbeing of individuals to their community and also, to place and the land. This sense of wellbeing includes varying aspects of physical, social, emotional, cultural and spiritual education (Malin & Maidment, 2003); and in determining the propagation of Country, care and sustenance of the land is imperative for maintaining its wellness, in addition to the reciprocity that this wellness provides by return, to the people (Yunupingu, 1997). The encompassing health of individuals, community and Country, is dictated through the education passed down by the Law of The Dreaming and Ancestors, ensuring balance between the aspects of wellbeing (Sherwood, 2013). It is a markedly different framework to that of Western cultures (Reynolds, 2005); and one that was interrupted, maligned and denigrated, by invasion.
During the Frontier period, Indigenous peoples resisted the non-Indigenous settlement of Australia, throughout 1770-1890. During approximately throughout the 1890’s to 1970’s, the non-Indigenous retaliations occurred, resulting in protection, segregation and the stolen generations. Which initiated an ongoing impact on Indigenous communities.
“However, Aboriginal people still struggle for more than words on paper. They require the enactment of visible justice, where aboriginal people have a pride of place and heritage that can be shared as well as respected.” (king, 2010, p.216).
After many years of European settlement in Australia, many Aboriginal people had been removed from their families and placed into schools with white Australians. This was due to the ‘protection policy’ laws that encouraged the removal of Indigenous children. Because fewer indigenous children were able to learn about their own culture, there was a slow decline in the culture of the indigenous people. As a result of this, there were continued tensions between the free settlers and Indigenous people as they had no roles in the government and couldn’t vote. This made them feel as if they were excluded from greater society and had long term negative impacts upon their sense of belonging to the new
The Aboriginies were documented as ‘the miserablest people in the world’ by William Dampier in 1688 (Brasch, 2007). The Indigenous people were perceived as an inferior cultural group prior to Australian settlement. This seed of hostility and arrogance was planted within the
The Australian Indigenous community hold extremely significant corrections to the land of Australia, of which they refer to as ‘Country.’ Indigenous people acquire deep meaning from the land, sea and the countless resources derived from them. This special relationship has formed for many centuries. To them ‘Country’ is paramount for overall wellbeing; the strong, significant, spiritual bonds embody their entire existence. Knowledge is continually passed down to create an unbroken connection of past,
Kinship took a central role in the structure of Aboriginal communities because it was their main way of organising people and their social relationships (Keen 2004, p.174). It helped the Aboriginal people to know where they stood in regards to social relationships and their behaviour towards every other person (Broom 2002, p.19-20). Aboriginal people coexisted in harmony and lived in a balanced society with the land, animals, and everything living. This essay will highlight
Reconciliation is the process of building respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the wider Australian community. It is about understanding and respecting their culture and heritage and signifies ‘coming together’ to become one nation without racism and with equality for all. There are still vast differences in health, education, employment, and standards of living of the Indigenous peoples as compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. Even today Indigenous peoples have a significantly lower life expectancy, up to 11.5 years for men and 9.7 years for women . The infant mortality rate for the Indigenous peoples is double the rate for non-Aboriginal Australians. Understanding these inequalities is the first step to reconciling the differences. Policies such as the stolen generation and assimilation policy destroyed Indigenous identity and culture and justified the dispossession of Indigenous people and the removal of Indigenous children from their parents. We can’t change the past but we can make a better future by understanding and learning from the mistakes of the past, reconciliation is about that. Many practical and symbolic strategies have been implemented over the last 50 years to achieve reconciliation such as ATSIC, Northern Territory Intervention and the Mabo decision. However, the most significant ones are the 1967 Referendum, Closing the Gap framework in 2008 and the ‘Sorry speech’. The aim is to improve the five dimensions of reconciliation: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity, and historical acceptance.
For over 200 years Aborigines have endured a long history of suffering due to the unpropitious effects of internationalism and western colonization; in Europeans attempt for cultural assimilation and taking their land to which has caused catastrophic consequences within individuals and the community as a whole by