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Australian Aborigines and Globalization

The Paradoxical Effects of Globalization on the Indigenous Peoples of Australia

whitney weber

on 17 May 2010

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Transcript of Australian Aborigines and Globalization

Double click anywhere & add an idea Early British Colonization
1788-19th Century 1.Lack of Modern Technology to defend themselves
2.Social and Religious Beliefs- Tried to place British in known context
3. Isolation-lack of exposure led to little to no immunity to European diseases
4. Little Interaction between the tribes--> no united front to rebel against invasion Why Vulnerable Immediate Effects of Colonization in 1788 1. Wave of Foreign Diseases
Small Pox killed nearly half of Aboriginal population near Sydney
2. Seizure of land, water, and resources
3. 19th Century forced off agriculturally rich lands to deserts
now must live on reservations
"Protectors" (British Bureaucrats/Anglican Priests)- decided all matters on reservations including marriage, crops, and education lasting Impact Diseases, land and resource exploitation, and direct violence led to an Aboriginal population that was reduced by up to 80% between 1788 and 1900
Created a legacy of Aboriginal Inequality and oppression
Loss of agency and legitimacy
Indigenous children kidnapped and exploited for their labor
Found ways to incorporate new technologies, sources of food, and placed the Europeans into their mythic structures and social organization Assimilation: White Australia Policy 1937-1970s 1937-The First Commonwealth-state native Welfare conference "This conference believes that the destiny of the natives of Aboriginal origin, but not of the full blood, lies in their ultimate absorbtion by the people of the commonwealth and it therefore recommends that all efforts be directed to that end."
Explicit breeding policies controlling marriage between "half-castes" and anyone else Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act of 1900 written by delegates to a series of Constitutional conventions in 1890s
Delegates did not include Aboriginal people or women
when all of the colonies agreed the Constitution was sent to England and enacted as an act of British Parliament in 1900
Section 51: Gave Responsibility for Aboriginal Affairs to state governments
Section 127:Excluded Aboriginal people from the census and thereby all citizenship rights--Including the right to vote (1902 Commonwealth Franchise Act)

"All Aborigines and part Aborigines are expected to eventually attain the same manner of living as other Australians... enjoying the same responsibility deserving the same customs and influenced by the same beliefs, hopes and loyalties as other Australians."
Focus shifted from biological to cultural assimilation
Education in "ways of modernity" 1951-Native Welfare Conference Conference Stolen Generation After 1940s: Indigenous children between the ages of 2 and 4 were removed from homes and raised by either adoptive colonial parents or in an Aboriginal Institution
Removal governed by Commonwealth general child welfare law (no longer left up to the state laws)
1941- extension of Commonwealth child endowment to Aboriginal Children
State government institutions and missions have incentive to kidnap Aboriginal children
Endowment went to state not the parents
Practice ended in 1970 Effects on status of aborigines solidified the international law doctrine terra nullius, which claimed that the settlement of Australia did not involved the dispossion of the Aborigines due to the belief that they never actully "possessed" the land through labor and improvement
supported the popular contemporary view of the Aborigines as animalistic--they had not separated themselves from nature in a way that would warrant viewing them as human
Believed that the Aborigines would gradually die out so no need to deal with them Multiculturalism: 1980s-Early 1990s In order to compete in global market Australia opened up its borders to trade with Asia.
By 1984 Australia's trans-Pacific trade exceeded trans-Atlantic
This led to agreements opening the Australia's borders to a large number of Asian immigrants
The population grew to be so ethnically diverse that polices of "assimilation" and "homogenization" were deemed outdated. Impact on Aboriginal Peoples Perpetuated the idea that Aboriginal culture and practices were without legitimacy
Asserted that Euro-centric culture, values, and norms was superior and forced Aborigines to conform
Impact on Aboriginal Peoples Shift in policy stance from exclusive to inclusive created a greater sense of legitimacy and empowerment for the Aborigines
Empowerment also came from International Institutions, such as the UN, which have worked to expand indigenous peoples rights beyond rights of minorities and communities
Now they can claim their rights as "first peoples" in addition to their rights as Australians--important in their claims for "land rights"
International instruments have provided Aboriginal people with new legal tools, new tribunals, and new means of exerting pressure on the government Reconciliation decade (1990-2000) First Half:
Aboriginal cultural practices were to be nurtured
remaining assimilation practices removed
indigenous rights recognized
Aboriginal representative agencies empowered
*Was a platform for Aboriginal land rights and Aboriginal self-determination Second Half:
shift back to renewed forms of racism
isolationist policies began to resurface as a reaction to rising unemployment and inequalities
Blamed on foreign goods and people Return to Nationalism: Mid-1990s-Present Backlash from the unemployment which was blamed on the immigration resulting from globalization
"watering-down" of inclusive internal policy
Social justice and equality programs cut and funding reduced--including the grants allocated to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
Government now claims that it "puts forth economic, rather than ideological imperatives." Impact on aboriginal culture The search for a distinct national identity has led some to embrace Aboriginal culture and practices as a defining characteristic (Sydney Olympics)
Educational systems still sponsor assimilation however and efforts are being made to blend Aboriginal teaching and customs with westernized education Impact on Aboriginal Wellbeing cuts in social welfare programs for minorities have left many Aborigines disillusioned after promises made during the "Reconciliation Decade" have failed to realize
Pressure is being placed on the Australian govenment from both internal organizations (Reconciliation Australia) and international organizations (Oxfam) to reinstate programs to better provide for the health, education, and empowerment of the Aboriginal peoples
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