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Old 06-04-2017, 12:59 AM
daddo daddo is offline
TE Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 809

Ciao Giovanni. I see many parallels between the Natives there and the Aboriginal tribes here. We have glue sniffing, a cheap way of getting high, suicides and renal failures from alcohol consumption. In some reserves the elders have banned the sale of alcohol and proclaimed these as dry areas. But unscrupulous individuals from outside have found ways of selling their poison.
The problems, as I see them, started long ago with the dispossession of traditional land, rounding up of various language groups and in some cases peoples who had a history of antipathy towards each other and putting them all in missions/reservations. There they were "looked after" by white administrators and religious groups many of whom were abusive and keen to obliterate languages, beliefs and customs. (To this day we have white administrators in reserves who scoop the cream of government grants for admin costs etc and leave the people living in third world conditions.)
The children were told that their forefathers were ignorant and primitive. Here, if children were caught speaking their language, they were punished. In some cases they had their mouths washed with soap and were placed in isolation. As for sexual abuse, the cases were horrendous. But possibly worst of all was the removal of children from those who loved them.
Now, all of this begs the question of how can people who have been brutalised over a number of generations regain their confidence and upon which broken pieces of their past build a structure for a coherent present and a promising future for their children.
It is interesting to note that in America and Australia in the middle of last century the inmates in psychiatric wards were over represented by migrants who having been encouraged to assimilate and detach themselves from their heritage, found that despite their efforts, they were still seen as foreigners or unworthy of top jobs. They too were caught in limbo, neither here nor there.

We have in Australia a very small population of First Australians, yet they have the highest rate of incarceration, in Western Australia prisons hold as many as 35% Aborigines. They also have a mortality rate ten years lower than the rest.
Every time they trie to gain some sort of self rule, they are thwarted. Having been denied education for so long, it is only recently that they have erudite and confident spokespersons who can present a case for their people.
Suffice it so say that after being custodians of this continent for more than 40,000 years, they had been classified until 1968 as part of the FAUNA and were not included in the census.

So forgive me if I don't share your views about the kind Europeans, for if they fled persecution and misery, it is those very people who should have had some empathy towards the natives. When truth be told, when they saw all those fertile valleys, all that open land, it was very tempting to grab it all- no questions asked. And let's not forget God was on their side as they tried to convert these people before sending them to their maker. Ah, the White Man's Burden- a historical terms filled with nastiness.
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