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Land, identity, and colonial dispossession Aboriginal and settler relations in Australia - Essay Example

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Land, identity, and colonial dispossession Aboriginal and settler relations in Australia

The government of Australia in 1991 began the process of reconciliation so as to progressively address the legacy of colonial injustice (Green, 2011: p34). However, the framing of policy to this end has been restrictive, while the lack of a political will has also hindered any progress in reconciliation and justice for indigenous aborigines. This has resulted in tensions between the national humans right regimes and internationally acknowledged standards of human rights.
Short (2003: p292) argues that there were no formal settlement or treaty involved in the colonization of Australia with the colonizers arguing that the Australian Aborigines could not sign any settlement because Australia was not occupied prior to its colonization, which has meant that Australia’s indigenous people have been subjected racism and injustice. Despite the Council of Aboriginal Reconciliation Act of 1991 that was meant to kick-start the process of reconciliation between Australian society and the indigenous Aborigines of Australia after centuries of dispossession and dispersion of the latter, there was no provision for justice for the Aborigines. This had the effect of limiting the aspirations of the indigenous Aborigines. Therefore, Short (2003: p293) claims that the Act does not seek to atone for the injustice suffered by the Aborigines and, in fact, attempt to pursue an agenda of assimilation as another phase in the process of total colonization of Australia. As such, it is the writer’s belief that any attempt at reconciliation should seek to reflect the aspirations of the indigenous Aborigines more closely, specifically by addressing the issue of internal colonization.
While the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Act of 1991 officially seeks to enhance the relationship between Australia’s Aborigines and the former colonialists, while also enhancing understanding of the ...Show more
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Summary

Green (2011: p34) notes that reconciliation in Australia must involve respect and unity between non-indigenous Australians and indigenous Aborigines, in which there is value for equity and justice among all Australians. This peacemaking paradigm has emerged as a particularly…
Land, identity, and colonial dispossession Aboriginal and settler relations in Australia
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