Key facts about Abo­ri­gi­nal Aus­tra­lians

Vocable (Anglais) - - Focus -

CULTURE AND IDEN­TI­TY

Abo­ri­gi­nal people have one of the ol­dest li­ving cultures in the world. At the core of their culture is a ve­ry strong spi­ri­tual con­nec­tion to the land. Ulu­ru, al­so known as Ayers Rock, in Nor­thern Ter­ri­to­ry, is one of the most im­pres­sive Abo­ri­gi­nal sa­cred sites. In­di­ge­nous spi­ri­tual be­liefs, along with the lo­cal laws and his­to­ry, are sha­red through the “Dream­time” my­tho­lo­gy. These “Dream­time sto­ries” were pas­sed down from ge­ne­ra­tion to ge­ne­ra­tion through art, dance and song and tell the sto­ry of the crea­tion of the land­scape and its in­ha­bi­tants.

WHO ARE THE “STO­LEN GE­NE­RA­TIONS”?

The New York Times' ar­ticle men­tions that ac­tor Uncle Jack Charles was ta­ken from his fa­mi­ly as a re­sult of Aus­tra­lia's as­si­mi­la­tion po­li­cy. He is one of the 100,000 In­di­ge­nous chil­dren – al­so known as the “Sto­len Ge­ne­ra­tions” – who were for­ci­bly re­mo­ved from their pa­rents bet­ween 1910 and 1970. These chil­dren were of­ten un­der 5 years old and were adop­ted by white fa­mi­lies or brought up in ins­ti­tu­tions. They were par­ti­cu­lar­ly vul­ne­rable to sexual as­sault, abuse and ex­ploi­ta­tion. In 2008, the Aus­tra­lian Par­lia­ment pas­sed a mo­tion of Apo­lo­gy and Prime Mi­nis­ter Ke­vin Rudd ack­now­led­ged that this po­li­cy had “in­flic­ted pro­found grief, suf­fe­ring and loss on these our fel­low Aus­tra­lians.” The apo­lo­gy in­clu­ded a pro­po­sal for a po­li­cy com­mis­sion to close the gap bet­ween In­di­ge­nous and non-In­di­ge­nous Aus­tra­lians in “life ex­pec­tan­cy, edu­ca­tio­nal achie­ve­ment and eco­no­mic op­por­tu­ni­ty.”

(Cha­me­leons Eye/Shut­ters/SIPA)

In­di­ge­nous Aus­tra­lian art: Dot pain­ting of Kan­ga­roo.

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