The Segregation and Assimilation Policies in Relation to the Impact They Had on the Aboriginal Family Lfe

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2. Compare and contrast the segregation and assimilation policies in relation to the impact they had on the Aboriginal family life. Aboriginal family life has been disrupted and forcibly changed over the last two hundred years, as a result of the many segregation and assimilation policies introduced by Australian governments. Often a combination of the two was employed. The policy of segregation has impacted upon Aboriginal family life, for through this policy, Aboriginals were restricted and prohibited to practice their traditional culture, hence, resulting in the loss of their Indigenous identity and limiting the cultural knowledge for future Aboriginal generations. The segregation policy also achieved in disfiguring the roles of family members, primarily the male's role within the family. The policy of assimilation, in comparison to the segregation policies, has also affected Aboriginal family life, because through the removal of children from their Aboriginal homes they to as a result were deprived of their Indigenous identity and cultural links. However, the policy of assimilation has had far greater an impact upon Aboriginal family life, for it has not only separated families and communities, but denied the parenting and nurturing of a generation of Aboriginal peoples and has also attributed to breakdowns in relationships between the non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal parent. As European domination began, the way in which the European’s chose to deal with the Aborigines was through the policy of segregation. This policy included the establishment of a reserve system. The government reserves were set up to take aboriginals out of their known habitat and culture, while in turn, encouraging them to adapt the European way of life. The Aboriginal Protection Act of 1909 established strict controls for aborigines living on the reserves . In exchange for food, shelter and a little education, aborigines were subjected to the discipline of police and reserve managers. They had to follow the rules of the reserve and tolerate searchers of their homes and themselves. Their children could be taken away at any time and ‘apprenticed” out as cheap labour for Europeans. “The old ways of the Aborigines were attacked by regimented efforts to make them European” . Their identities were threatened by giving them European names and clothes, and by removing them from their tra... ... middle of paper ... ...nt of impact upon Aboriginal family life in relation to lost cultural links and family members roles, there is evidence to suggest that the policy of assimilation, thus the removal of children had a far longer lasting affect. The assimilation policies not only contributed to the separation of families and whole communities, but also affected both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples and is the result of many inter-generational problems among Aboriginals, such as parenting, thus overall has had a greater impact on Aboriginal family life. Word Count:1457 Bibliography Bringing Them Home Report, (1997) http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/special/rsjproject/rsjlibrary/hreoc/stolen/ (August 2002). Broome, Richard. (2001) Aboriginal Australians: Black Response to White Dominance 1788- 1980, Sydney: Allen and Unwin. Harvey, Timothy. (1995) Australian History, Sydney:Hodder and Stoughton. Povinelli, Elizabeth A. (1993) Labor’s Lot: The Power, History & Culture of Aboriginal Action, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Trigger, David S. (1992) Whitefella Comin’: Aboriginal responses to Colonialism in Northern Australia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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