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Government Policies Have Affected Aboriginal People Outline The Affects.

1095 words - 4 pages

Before the Aboriginals had European contact, they described their old lives as being carefree and simple, they didn’t have to worry about social status and money - they only had to care about gathering food, telling/passing on stories to the younger generation and help around in their tribe. After European contact in 1788, the Aboriginals were often abused, dispossessed of the land, exposed to new diseases (such as smallpox) and involvement in violent conflict, resulted in the death of a vast number of the Aborigines. When this became evident to the Australian government of the time, they introduced the ‘Protection Policy’ and other various policies after that they believed were in the Aborigines’ best interests.The period between 1788 and 1890s was a very violent and horrific time for the Aborigines as they were constantly harassed, massacred and poisoned by Europeans because they believed that the Aborigines were of a inferior race and were bound to die out. Due to the violence, the Aboriginal population greatly decreased, when this was evident to the government, they introduced the ‘Protection Policy’ in the 1890s. The policy had the main aim of ‘protecting’ the Aboriginal community from harm by moving (by force usually) the Aborigines off their land and putting them in reserves and missions, away from civilisation - segregating them. The reserves and missions were places of complete European control, permission had to be granted to Aborigines who wanted to go off the reserves and missions for any reason (even to go to work), rations of poor-quality food were given out, education (if given) was minimal and of a low standard. The Europeans also believed that because the Aboriginal culture didn’t live up to their standards, they were therefore primitive, backward, and in need of Europeans’ help.This policy also made it legal to remove Aboriginal children from their families and tribes, place them in institution homes and be fostered by white families who could provide them with a ‘better home’. Even though this policy had a ‘good intent’, it tore many families and tribes apart. This policy lasted until the 1940s.After the ‘Protection Policy’ ended, the ‘Assimilation Policy’ was introduced after it became apparent that the Aborigines were not dying out and the numbers of mixed blooded Aborigines were in fact increasing. This policy was designed to integrate Aboriginal people into white society by forcing them to live in the same way and hold the same beliefs and values as white Australians. This led to the even further reduction of traditional Aboriginal culture.By doing this, they were worthy of full citizenship. The ‘Assimilation Policy’ also allowed Aboriginal people of worthy character, appropriate work ethic and who doesn’t associate with other Aborigines were granted Exemption Certificates (also know as the ‘Dog Tag’). The...

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