Since European settlement, Aboriginal History has been a spiral of mistreatment and death. I believe that the Australian Government should say "sorry". This would cause a recognition of past injustices. The reasons that I believe the Australian Government should say "sorry" is because of: 1. Reserves.
2. Missions. 3. Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths. In 1883, the Aborigines Protection Board was set up in New South Wales. It's purpose was to 'smooth the pillow of the dying race' and thus hasten the extinction of the Aboriginal people.
Two of the methods used were Missions and Reserves. A Reserve was an area of land set aside for Aboriginal people to live under the control of the Europeans. It was like a refugee camp. The Aboriginals even had to ask permission to leave the boundaries of the camp.
On the reserves they were given basic housing and just enough food to survive. Many were also shipped off to foreign territories, often to share accommodation with Aboriginal tribes who were traditionally their enemies, or whom they could barely communicate with as a result of language barriers. Distance from their land, and coexistence with incompatible groups caused a large breakdown in Aboriginal society as kin relationships, marriage rules and cultural practices were distrusted. In many cases, particularly on Christian-run missions, Aboriginal people were given European names and were not allowed to speak their own language or practice their own ceremonies as these were considered heathen. This is a reason for the Australian Government to say "sorry" because: 1. This was a deliberate attempt at cultural genocide.
2. This deliberate attempt at cultural genocide was intended to break Aboriginal spirit and contribute to their 'inevitable' extinction. In the late 20th century, Australia's indigenous peoples were: o 29 times more likely to be put in jail than other Australians. o 20 times more likely to be picked up by the police. o Less likely to receive bail or have legal representation in court. o More likely to plead guilty. Indigenous peoples suffered many injustices under the Australian legal system.
In 1989, the Commonwealth Government ordered a royal commission to investigate these matters and the general issue of the treatment or Aborigines within the Australian legal system. The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody made 339 recommendations when it released its report in 1991. It recommendations described the problems Aborigines encountered whilst in prison and the factors which had contributed to their imprisonment. These included: o The negative and often racist attitudes of many police officers, which led to the over-policing and physical and verbal abuse of indigenous people o The lack of private living space for indigenous peoples, which made the incidence of drunkenness more public than that of any other Australian which made those involved easier targets o The much higher numbers of police on duty in areas with high Aboriginal population, and that this itself frequently led to hostility between the two groups. Aboriginals were not given the rights which they are entitled to.
2. The police force unjustly targeted the Aboriginals. 3. Aboriginal crimes were unjustly publicized, which caused a lack or respect and compassion to become present within the Australian community. Ever since colonization, the indigenous peoples of Australia have been oppressed and persecuted. On the Reserves they were treated as refugees, even prisoners in their own land.
During the course of this century they have been more likely to be put into prison, more likely to be stopped by police and less likely to receive even the basic rights that they are entitled to. It is time that the Australian Government recognized the injustices of the past, and said sorry.