Changing Government Policies Concerning Aboriginal Peoples

935 words - 4 pages

Paternalistic ViewIn the period 1901-1914, the carious state governments maintained the same attitude towards Aboriginal peoples as the British colonists had in 1788. This attitude was based on a belief that Aboriginal peoples were 'uncivilized' and inferior to Europeans because they did not have clothes, a Christian religion or the English language. Most of all, they were not white and were considered 'savages'.These attitudes lead to paternalism towards the aboriginal peoples by the whites. In terms of government action, paternalism meant taking 'fatherly' control of people who are believed to be unable to act for themselves. Paternalism is sometimes well-intentioned, but it is based on the belief that one group is superior and must 'do what is best' for the inferior group.These paternalistic attitudes were the result of ignorance of Aboriginal culture and lifestyle.---ProtectionAt the time of Federation, individual state governments followed a policy of 'protection' for Aboriginal peoples. In NSW, it started in 1883 when the Aborigines Protection Board was set up.The Aborigines Protection Board's policy for protecting Indigenous Australians was that all Aboriginal peoples were to live on reserves.The Board had 3 reasons for this policy:1.To protect Aboriginal Peoples2.To ensure they lived separately from whites3.To 'keep and eye on them'All states and the Northern Territory had reserves or missions where aboriginal peoples were expected to live. These reserves were generally on the outskirts of towns, as the white population did not want the Aboriginal peoples living too close. This made it hard for Aboriginals to get jobs.The paternalistic view of state governments, church leaders and the white population meant Aboriginal people were not consulted about what was best or them. It was believed that they would be 'improved' by Christianity, schooling and by following the 'white man's ways'. Thus, Europeans placed Aboriginal people on reserves or missions, giving them handouts of food and basic supplies, thinking that life in a building was better than wandering in the bush. Isolating Aboriginal people on reserves was also seen as a way of protecting them from European diseases and alcohol, as well as the several massacres of Aboriginal peoples and random killings by white settlers. E.g. Myall Creek Massacre - 28 Aboriginal people killed.Life on a reserve was very strict. Not only did the manager of the reserve have total control of the Aboriginal people living there, but Aboriginal peoples had to obey rules such as:•They were not allowed to speak their own language - they had to speak English•Traditional ceremonies were forbidden•Aboriginal people were forced to wear European-style clothing and attend church.---Assimilation A policy aimed at having all people in a country, regardless of their ethnic or cultural background, adopting the culture of the dominant group.Aboriginal people of mixed decent were expected to break away from...

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