Issues Analysis- Indigenous People sample essay
As the British arrived on the land of the aboriginal people they hoped to absorb the aboriginal people into their culture to work in the new colony. The aboriginal people tried to avoid the settlers but as the land became more occupied contact became unavoidable. Governor Phillip wanted to avoid any unnecessary conflict so he treated the aboriginal people with kindness and ordered his soldiers not to shoot any of them. He captured many aboriginals and one of them was Bennelong. He wanted them to learn English and act as translators between the Indigenous groups and the British.
There were clashes over the land and culture of Aboriginals and the British. Phillip ignorantly ordered his soldiers to fire at the Aboriginal people as he has already tried to civilise them and assimilate them into the British culture and society was not working as he had hoped. The Aboriginal peoples saw that the British settlers were putting up fences clearing the land, restricting access and introducing different animals; so they started to think that the British were invading, this lead to retaliation from the Aboriginals.
By 1797, attitudes and policy toward the Indigenous peoples had changed. No longer did the government decide to assimilate the Indigenous peoples, but rather have a new policy and that was to ‘keep them out’. In 1800 Governor King had reported to the British government the number of Aboriginal people killed in fighting was far greater than the number of British people killed. The common response from the government to the Aboriginal resistance was to send expeditions of solders to punish any groups that threatened settlers and farms.
These soldiers hunted and killed groups of Indigenous people that were thought to have been stealing stock, food and generally harassing the settlers. Government instructions after 1800 were to fire at all indigenous peoples until they were far away from British settlements. As the British settlement gotten bigger, the Indigenous peoples lost more and more of their land and many of their family members. They became more reliant on the British settlers to provide them food, shelter and water.
As their traditional life was slowly eroding, many Aboriginal people started living on the outskirts of towns or started working as servants or slaves for the British settlements. The inability for the Aboriginal people to succeed in this era it caused a change in the European view of the time, that Indigenous peoples were inferior, and were unable to look after themselves or the land. However not all contact was violent with the British settlers and the Aboriginal people. At times there was friendly contact and peace. Some Aboriginal peoples voluntarily became part of the British society.
There is also plenty of evidence that groups of Indigenous peoples helped Europeans when they were in trouble and this was quite often, as life for British settlers was extremely hard in the early years of the colony. British colonisation of Australian started in Sydney in 1788. The rapidly occurring consequences within weeks of the first colonists arrival was a wave of European epidemic diseases such as smallpox, chickenpox, influenza and measles. These diseases affected the largest population densities where these diseases could spread easier.
The next consequence of British settlement was water resources and the management of land. The settlers viewed Indigenous Australians as Nomads with no civilised concept of land ownership, who could be charged from the land wanted for farming. The aboriginals would easily migrate elsewhere. The impact on the aboriginals was fatal as there was loss of traditional lands, water resources and food sources, as the communities were affected by European diseases. The spiritual and cultural cohesion and well-being was affected because of the communities being forced away from the traditional areas.
The settlers brought sexually transmitted diseases, and indigenous Australians had no tolerance and therefore greatly reduced fertility and birth-rates. Settlers were responsible for introducing the alcohol, opium and tobacco, and substance abuse has remained a huge problem for Indigenous communities. The result of disease, loss of land and violence reduced the Aboriginal population by an estimated 90% between 1788 and1900. Smallpox alone killed more than 50% of the Aboriginal population. Up to 3000 white people were killed by Indigenous Australians in the frontier violence.
Most Indigenous people became a significant source of labour. Most of the work was unpaid, instead they survived on the rations that the workers received such as forms of food, clothing ad other basic necessities. In many areas of Australia Christian missions donated food and clothing for the indigenous people and opened schools and orphanages for Indigenous children. In some places of Australia colonial governments provided some resources. In 1914 around 1200 Aboriginal people answered the call to arms as the war was desperate for new recruits.
Many Indigenous people claimed they were Indian or cook islanders to avoid the laws of no indigenous people being in the defence force. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/History_of_Indigenous_Australians#The_impact_of_British_settlement There are many health promoting strategies today such as ‘Two Ways Together: NSW Aboriginal Affairs Plan 2003-2012’, ‘COAG Agreement, they set six gaps for closing the disadvantage gap between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people’, CEO performance agreements. Resetting the relationship with Indigenous Australians is important and this partnership must be respectful.
It takes both parties to make a difference. Recent research by Reconciliation Australia indicates that Australians have a strong desire to better understand the Indigenous peoples. Acknowledging Indigenous disadvantage is a national responsibility that will require the engagement of the Australian Community. The government has committed to working in partnership with Indigenous Australians, businesses, state and territory governments and community organisations. http://www. skwirk. com. au/p-c_s-56_u-415_t-1040_c-4006/british-aboriginal-relations-1788-1820/qld/sose-history/first-australians-and-the-european-arrivals/settlement-1788-1850.
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