The Stolen Generations

It is thought that Aborigines arrived in Australia around 50.000 years ago, coming from Asia. In 1788 arrived the first British colonizers. From 1909 to around 1970, the Australian government practiced a terrible crime against the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island populations, by forcibly removing children from their parents. This policy allowed authorities to take the children without the need of parental consent or even of a court order. These children were put in missions or in foster families, and became known as the Stolen Generations of Australia. The reasons behind this practice are not formally explained. Some alleged that it was for the children’s wellbeing, because they were neglected or abandoned. The reality seems to point out to a sort of organized destruction of Aboriginal culture, through racial assimilation, since the children were not allowed to mention anything related to their Aboriginal origins. Some children were able to surpass the trauma of this separation, while others were highly damaged by this experience, being abused by the to whom they were given. In general, the forcible removal of children from these populations, resulted in a collective suffering which compromised the future of these ancestral people. Despite the criticism by many Australians, who refuse to acknowledge that the children were stolen, in 2008, the Australian Prime Minister issued a formal apology to these Stolen Generations. You can read more about it here or here.

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