Canada today is known for the pride it carries for being multi-cultural, inclusive and combination of many cultural, races and religious backgrounds, but for decades in the past Aboriginal children were abducted from their homes unwillingly to go to these Residential School enforced by Canadian government and laws. The goal of the government at the time was to destroy Aboriginal people and their existence overall. Fast forward in 2008 the former Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a public apology to Aboriginals regarding their role in residential schools as he quotes “We are sorry. The treatment of children in Indian residential school is a sad chapter of our history” ("Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Statement Of Apology"). Although many Aboriginals considered this a historical day and had a sense of relief “the apology was necessary but insufficient... Apologies once given, are only meaningful for the action that follows” ("Harper Apologizes For Residential School Abuse"). The official apology to Aboriginal Canadians who suffered in the residential school system for policies and actions of the government in the past have been explored in “A Sorry State” article by author Mitch Miyagawa. Sitting government apologizes for past government is appropriate to the mistreatment that occurred to interned, excluded and systematically neglected people, the accountability for past mass atrocity and human rights abuse and democracy for the victims, as well as acknowledging what
No one would ever think that an apology and a meager amount of money would be sufficient enough to pay back for taking away freedom and rights for several years. Apparently, it appears as Canadian government did. During World War II, Japanese immigrants and Japanese Canadians were denied of their rights as humans and Canadian citizens, and were forced to live in internment camps (Baldwin, 2011). Although the Canadian government has realized its wrong doings to Japanese Canadians and has made attempts for reparation, the formal apologies and
In not seeking justice for these people, a high human cost is created because the rights of those who are negatively impacted are being ignored and they are suffering with no hope of reconciliation. Using the Canadian Charter as an example, every citizen has the right to seek justice and restitution. However, if the current generation is not accountable for past events, the justice that indigenous peoples deserve will not be given, and they will be forced to live with the negative legacies of historical globalization. Recently, the Canadian government has stepped up and acknowledged the immoral actions of the past, such as the removal of children from their homes to be placed in residential schools and the trauma and suffering it may have caused these individuals. Because of this, First Nations now receive financial benefits such as money for post-secondary education, land set aside for reserves, health benefits, and other things in an attempt to give then the compensation and justice they
Canada’s treatment to the Aboriginal people and other racial minorities is sadly something that it cannot take pride in, especially after all, Canada is commended globally as an exemplary of cultural variety and has a commendable repute for its liberal anti-racist policy. This essay will prove that today’s government should be held accountable for injustices of the past as first nations people were treated unequal for many years and other immigrants in Canada weren’t recognised and were made to be different and struggle. Canada is recognised for, and prides herself on, the abundant diversity of cultures, ethnic backgrounds, races and beliefs which live inside its borders. Therefore the government should be responsible for ensuring that all its qualities are met with high standard and the Canadian government should facilitate injustices of the past.
Speaker, I stand before you today to offer an apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools. The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history. The government of Canada now recognizes that it was wrong to forcefully remove children from their homes, and we apologize for having done this. We now recognize that it was wrong to separate children from rich and vibrant cultures and traditions, that it created a void in many lives and communities, and we apologize for having done this. It has taken extraordinary courage for the thousands of survivors that have come forward to speak publicly about the abuse they suffered. These objectives were based on the assumption aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal. Indeed, some sought, as it was infamously said, ‘to kill the Indian in the child.' Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm and had no place in our country. There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian residential schools system ever again to prevail. We now recognize that, far too often, these institutions gave rise to abuse or neglect and were inadequately controlled, and we apologize for failing to protect you.” (Campion-Smith, Bruce.
On the 13th February 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, offered an Apology to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People by way of a speech that he presented to the 42nd parliament of the Commonwealth. His speech outlined the past oppression of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had to endure pain and suffering. Children were forcibly removed from their families.
“Where are they taking me, mom?! Help!” These were the screams of an Aboriginal child when he was dragged to a car that drove him away from his family. Aboriginal kids were forcefully abducted and placed at poorly built and equipped residential schools. Residential schools are a network of boarding schools for Indigenous peoples. Like a disease, these schools spread so fast on Canadian land. They were every Indigenous child’s nightmare. Kids who attended were traumatized due to the mental, physical, and sexual abuse they suffered. Canadians felt superior to Aboriginals which lead them to use their power excessively to civilize these communities. This issue is considered to be one of the darkest chapters in Canadian history. It has a significant impact on Aboriginal communities. Indians suffered a loss of culture and identity. This issue violates various human rights such as; Freedom of language, freedom of culture and religion, freedom of choice, and the freedom of safety and health. The two groups in this controversy are the aggressors; Canadian government, and it’s churches, and the victims; the aboriginals. The question is, is the Canadian government doing enough to make it up to those who suffered the ill effects of residential schools?
Reconciliation has been a somewhat popular issue in Canadian academia and in Canadian society in general. Reconciliation in the Canadian context is defined as a restoration of the relationship between the Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous people due to the historical injustices, that continue to affect Indigenous peoples even to this day, committed by the Government of Canada against the Indigenous peoples. This is a massive undertaking that will require the participation of both Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous peoples alike. A project of this magnitude will not be an easy task to accomplish, as undoing over 100 years of trauma to the Indigenous peoples is not something that can be undone over night, but rather it will take decades to accomplish. There will be many obstacles in the path of reconciliation that will have to be overcome. However, reconciliation is the best opportunity to repair the relationships between the Indigenous peoples and the non-Indigenous peoples because it makes sense for all Canadians to be involved, the Government of Canada is backing the reconciliation process and some work to repair the relationship has already been done and has beneficial results for everyone.
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.
Canada has been home to Aboriginals for centuries, who play an imperative role in the history of Canada. Culture and tradition have been brought into this country with the help of millions of Aboriginals. Aboriginals have been known to be very strong supporters of their culture, and heritage and take very high importance towards it. They are very traditional people, and have been looking up to their Ancestral ways for centuries. The treaty relationship between Canada and First Nations has caused a rift and a divide amongst each other for many reasons. Although there has been so much history and tension amidst the two, there is always room for improvement. A lot of things can be done to strive towards a positive relationship, starting with accepting the culture of Aboriginals and realizing that it is something they will not be letting go. Secondly, education can play a big role in helping this situation, and bringing more awareness to the situation starting from a young age. (p. 5) Lastly, The rights and freedoms of all people in the country need to be equal and similar. Certain changes can really help the state of the situation but it is a matter of willing to try and see the change that we all want.
Speeches are an iconic and widely used means of expression for our political leaders, particularly when discussing issues of importance such as Indigenous Australia. Paul Keating’s ‘Redfern Speech’ and Kevin Rudd’s ‘Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples’ are the two political speeches which I will be analysing in this paper.
In Kevin Rudd’s 17th of February 2008 speech, the Australian Prime Minister apologises to the Indigenous Australians for the stolen generations. With this speech, Rudd attempted to ease the disadvantage that affects most Indigenous Australians by pledging that the government would improve their health, education, living conditions and their lifestyle overall. Rudd claims that he is apologetic and remorseful for the treatment the past Indigenous Australians received. He strengthens his speech by using several language techniques to convince the audience that Australia is remorseful for the past events and wishes to amend. the techniques he used include such as his choice of vocabulary and references to time to mention the historical struggle
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.
Only in recent years have we seen the recognition that the stolen generation deserves and the essential part it has play in the struggle of Aboriginal rights. Since the end of the stolen generation, numerous organisations and government agency has come out and said sorry for what happened for seventy years and as a result Aboriginal rights are becoming more apparent. The famous “I’m sorry” speech said by Kevin Rudd was the first Parliament apology to the Stolen Generation and was seen as a huge leap forward in the recognition of the Stolen Generation. The Bringing Them Home Report in 1997 was a strong campaign for The
Kevin Rudd’s apology was to the Aboriginals; but in particular, to the Stolen Generations. From 1909-1969, the Australian Government forced a policy know as assimilation upon the Aboriginals. Assimilation is the forced integration of minority groups onto the dominant society. Inhumane acts were inflicted upon these proud people because of the ‘Aborigines Protection Board’ which entailed that the Australian Government had full rights to forcibly remove half-caste children from Aboriginal care without parental consent nor a court order.