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The Indigenous People Of Australia

Australia is known as the land of opportunity, where all people are considered equal, and freedom is enjoyed. However, for the Indigenous people of Australia this has not always been the case. In the past, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people have not always shared the same rights. Land, cultural and basic human rights were taken away when the first settlers arrived as Aboriginals were seen as an inferior race (Lindqvist, 2007, p.4). The issue of Indigenous Australians gaining recognition for their rights has been going on for many years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are entitled to have their claims acknowledged. These are stated in relevant human rights treaties, which includes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and…show more content…
It is the ‘mother’ from which they used to source food and live (Kauffman, 1998, p.1). Before the settlers arrived in 1788, Australia was known as Terra Nullius meaning a land, as such, belonging to no one (Lindqvist, 2007, p.3). The Indigenous people of Australia were exiled from their own country as the English deemed Australia a place without inhabitants as they did not see the Aboriginals as a civilised race (Aboriginalheritage.org, 2015). The colonisation of Australia was devastating for the Indigenous people, who have existed on this land for more than 60,000 years. For years, they have been fighting to have their land rights recognised. In Gumatj Elders Milirrpum versus Nabalco, the Northern Territory Supreme Court ruled in 1971 that, under Australian law, Aboriginal people did not own the Arnhem Land reserve and that Nabalco could mine bauxite from the land after Gumatj Elders Milirrpum took on Nabalco Pty Ltd in a land rights case (Korff, 2015). This was the first litigation on native title in Australia. In 1992, the High Court of Australia handed down a…show more content…
More than 500 Indigenous tribes inhabited Australia prior to British settlement, and each group lived in close relationship to the land (Digital, 2015). Practicing and revitalising cultural traditions, spiritual traditions and customs should be a right for all Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (Streich, 2009, p.28). Indigenous Australians identify themselves through their region, language, relationships and stories. Their cultural heritage is passed on throughout the generations (Australia.gov.au, 2015). For the Aboriginal people killing animals for food and building shelters is a ritual and, very much, a cultural and spiritual journey. Indigenous people were restricted and prohibited from practicing their traditional culture, which resulted in the loss of their identity and limited the cultural knowledge for future generations. The Indigenous culture was attacked in an effort to make the Indigenous people more European. Their identity was threatened by giving them settler names, clothes, and removing them from their traditional lands and placing them on centralised reserves among other Indigenous people from many different tribes. This policy of segregation had an enormous impact on the lives of Aborigines. They were being deprived the right to practice and maintain the traditional
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