History of Abuse • The Native Australians, Aborigine's or the original inhabitants, suffered greatly by European settlement. • One of the key methods of colonization throughout history has been the swift and purposeful breakdown of indigenous languages by imposing the language of the colonizer.
Language • The breakdown of the language is the breakdown of the culture. • In the late 18th century, there were between 350 and 750 distinct Aboriginal social groupings, and a similar number of languages or dialects. At the start of the 21st century, fewer than 150 indigenous languages remained in daily use, and all except roughly 20 are highly endangered. Of those that survive, only 10% are being learned by children and those languages are usually located in the most isolated areas.
Child Removal Policy • The ‘Stolen Generation’ refers to the period between 1910 and 1970 when children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who were removed from their families by the Australian Federal and State government agencies and church missions, under law. • The opposing view suggests that the motivation and purpose of the laws providing for the removal of Aboriginal children from their parents was child protection, with government policy makers and officials responding to an observed need to provide protection for neglected, abused or abandoned mixed-descent children.
The Chief Protector of Aborigines in Western Australia, AO Neville, wrote in an article for The West Australian in 1930: • “Eliminate the full-blood and permit the white admixture to half-castes and eventually the race will become white.” • Removed children were relocated to institutional facilities operated by religious or charitable organizations. Females were often fostered out. The children were often punished if caught speaking local indigenous languages, and the intention was specifically to prevent them being socialized in Aboriginal cultures. • Aboriginal people were first counted as citizens in the 1971 Census.
Aboriginal Issues • Along with language, traditional laws and community norms has deeply affected Indigenous communities. European settlement in Australia meant that many traditional practices for achieving justice were taken over by unfamiliar laws and punishments. • The biggest problems facing Aboriginals includes high percentages of alcohol and drug abuse, unemployment, low socio-economic status and poverty, lack of social support and involvement. • These issues are more of a problem for Aboriginal communities than for any other group in Australia.
History of Apologies • Military Apology: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/11/2012112651921118808.html • Stolen Generation Apology: http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/02/13/1202760379056.html
Power • Power is seen as something exerted in a top down format • Ex: Military Ranks Class Systems • Power Flows down from institutions down onto individuals. • Ex: Government Government Policy Military Superiors Aboriginal People New Recruits
Power • The power from the Government that was given to the superiors in the Military was meant to be used to guide, support and help new recruits. The power was instead abused and created fear among the new recruits. • According to the article, the superiors excuse for the abuse was that they were trying to ‘toughen up’ the new recruits. • Power as a possession was somewhat in effect. Before being reported, superiors held all of the power and the recruits had none. • The possession of power changed once the recruits reported the abuse.
Foucault • Michel Foucault’s concept that power is something that is spread out through societies like a ‘net’ can be related to this article. • Foucault focused on links between large corporations/ institutions and smaller institutions. Smaller institutions and individuals. Individuals and themselves. • Government Military Superiors • Military Recruits • Recruits Themselves