Indigenous People Essay
The Indigenous people – they are the holders of unique languages, knowledge and beliefs and of practices for use of natural resources. In addition, they have a special relation to their traditional land. Their land has a fundamental importance for their cultural survival for them as a people. Indigenous people hold their own diverse concepts of development. The development is based on their own traditional values, visions, needs and priorities. At least this is how it used to be for the indigenous people until the Europeans destroyed important culture and values for many of them.
Throughout history, they have suffered maltreatment and discrimination at the hands of the dominant population. It is common for most indigenous people, just like Native Americans, the Mayas and the Aboriginals. In this essay I’m going to focus on Aboriginals – the indigenous people of Australia The Aboriginals are the indigenous people of Australia, and they were the first to settle down in what we call “the land down under”. It is estimated that the indigenous people came to Australia 30 000 years ago. For a long period of time they were the only ones living there, until Captain James Cook discovered the country in 1770.
Some days later, the land was declared for the English Monarch. The new country had been claimed and now it belonged to the British. They did whatever they wanted. Not a very promising meeting between two cultures. The new settlers discriminated them and did not got any respect for the peoples living there. As one colonist wrote in 1849: “Nothing can stay the dying away of the Aboriginal race, which Providence has allowed to hold the land until replaced by a finer race”. This is proof of the lack of respect the colonists had towards the Aborigines.
The colonists took control over the country. The Aborigines were driven away from the coastal areas and they ended up getting reserves in the less fertile desert area. It became difficult for the Aborigines to find food. Many of the Aboriginals had to adapt a new lifestyle. As a result, the Aboriginals lost much of their culture such as important values, traditions and visions. If you compare this to other indigenous peoples you find similarities, for example the Native Americans. They were forced to move and only got to live at small reservations.
They were treated badly like slaves, without respect from the new settlers, just like the Aboriginals. Today, or in 2008, according to an article on VG, the Aboriginals constitute about 2 % of the population, which compose about 460 000 people and the Aboriginals are still a discriminated race. This is a huge problem for them. They are at the bottom of the society, the underclass and to achieve complete equality for this ethnic group is long. However, even though I think it might take long time, there are some different efforts to make the Aboriginals more inclusion in the society possible. Actually, the Aboriginals themselves have done a lot.
In the 1960’s the Aboriginals began holding protests and demonstrations against the way they were treated. But to achieve this equality, the Australian’s, need to realize their bad treatment against the Aboriginals. The Aboriginals should not only themselves take responsibility for the bad treatment against their people. The 13th February 2008, Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd held a speech where he actually said sorry to all the aboriginals and the stolen generation who suffered by the European behavior towards them. The prime minister used the word “I’m sorry” 360 times in his speech.
“We apologize for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians”, the speech said. This speech means that the government finally realized and admitted the non-righteousness against the Aboriginals. But after realizing, we have to actually start doing things to make the Aboriginals a respected people. I think communication between the Australians and the Aboriginals is the key to a closer equality. Maybe a good start is by not forcing the Aboriginals to loose their language, culture, traditions and important values.
In some way, there is a need in cooperation. I think this is the only way they can be invited into the society. That can be a challenge, because the Aborigines have the highest unemployment and they are responsible for the highest alcohol and drug abuse, most cases of violence in the home and the highest percentage in prison. Maybe this is the result of bad treatment. Many families also lost their children during stolen generation. I suggest that regular meeting were organized for the Aboriginals to help them out, to a better future.
We cannot take back what has been done to the Aborigines in the past, but by admitting the unfairness, we have come a long way. The first step is to realize, the next is to do something about it. Sources: http://www. news. com. au, Kevin Rudd’s National Apology to Stolen Generation, 8 March 2013 http://tracks1hs. cappelendamm. no/, Australian Aborigines, 8 March 2013 http://www. vg. no/, “Dans og tarer for hisorisk dag for aboriginere”, 8 March 2013 Downloaded document from its learning, Australian Aborigines: A Brief Overview, 8 March 2013 http://en. wikipedia. org/,”Indigenous Australians”, 8 March 2013.
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