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The term Stolen Generation refers to the generation of Australian Aboriginal children and those of Torres Strait Islander descent who were forcibly removed from their families as a result of various government policies. These children were placed in institutions or missions or given to white families for foster care or adoption.
See the fact file below for more information on the Stolen Generation or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Stolen Generation worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EMERGENCE OF THE CHILD REMOVAL POLICY
- The Stolen Generation is also known as Stolen Children.
- The practice of removing Indigenous children from their families began between 1910 and the 1970s, during the early years of the European colonization of Australia.
- It was part of the policy of assimilation, wherein the board was given extensive control over Aboriginal people, including the right to take children away from their parents if they were believed to be neglected.
- The British government proposed a system of “protection” from the brutal treatment of Indigenous peoples by Europeans.
- Australia adopted assimilation as a national policy by 1937.
- The goal of this policy was based on the misguided assumption that the people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage would be improved if they became part of white society.
- The government explained it as a matter of welfare, wherein children would get an education and job preparation “with a view to their taking their place in the white community on an equal footing with the whites,” appending that the separation of Indigenous children from their families was an essential part of the assimilation strategy.
- However, in reality, the ultimate purpose of this assimilation was the elimination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. They used children to immerse them in white culture and to stop their parents and communities from passing on traditional lifestyles.
- Most of the children chosen for forced removal had mixed Aboriginal and white ancestry as it was believed that they would be the easiest to assimilate into white society.
EFFECTS ON THE REMOVED CHILDREN
- The children in their new homes were required to speak English as their own language and were forbidden from participating in Indigenous customs.
- Most of these children received insufficient schooling or none at all. Instead, they were trained as manual laborers or domestic service and used as a source of cheap labor at their institutions or at missions.
- Many were neglected and experienced being psychologically, physically, and sexually abused in their institutions or by their foster parents. The children who were put in institutions are also called Forgotten Australians.
- There were also children who were wrongly told that their parents were abusive, had died or had abandoned them, and others never knew where they had been taken from or who their biological families were.
PUBLIC AWARENESS AND RECOGNITION
- Many organizations, like the Healing Foundation, have been working over several decades and continue today to reconnect members of the Stolen Generation and their descendants with family members, Indigenous communities, culture, and country.
- The Link-Up service, established by the Australian Government in 1980, aims to help members of the Stolen Generation find their families including the subsequent generations today.
- In 1995, the Australian government initiated an inquiry into the policy of forced child removal called the Bringing Them Home, which was presented to Parliament on the May 26, 1997.
- It figured out that between 10 and 33 percent of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were separated from their families between 1910-1970 and concluded that this was a violation of fundamental human rights.
- While it was the Keating administration that ordered the inquiry into the Stolen Generation, the Howard administration had come to power at the time the report was finalized and broadly ignored its 54 recommendations.
- On February 13, 2008, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a historic apology (included in one of the recommendations of the 1997 Bringing Them Home report) to the country’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for past mistreatment.
- The 13th of February is the commemoration of the 2008 National Apology.
- The 26th of May is National Sorry Day, the anniversary of the day the Bringing Them Home report was presented in Parliament in 1997.
- These anniversaries are an opportunity for all Australians to discover more by listening to the voices of First Nations people who are affected by the Stolen Generation.
Stolen Generation Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Stolen Generation across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Stolen Generation worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the term Stolen Generation which refers to the generation of Australian Aboriginal children and those of Torres Strait Islander descent who were forcibly removed from their families as a result of various government policies. These children were placed in institutions or missions or given to white families for foster care or adoption.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Stolen Generation Facts
- Australian Indegenous
- Fast Facts
- Important Phrases
- Stolen Generation Art
- Our Generations
- Stolen Timeline
- Expectation vs Reality
- National Sorry Day
- Commemorative Stamp
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Link will appear as Stolen Generation Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 3, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.