Australia’s “Stolen Generations”

In Australian history the relationship between British settlers and the indigenous Aboriginal population has been…complicated. Complicated, complicated. From the late 1860s until the late 1960s Australian colonial authorities were legally allowed to remove Aboriginal children from their families and send them to be raised in church missions or with European-descended foster parents. Record-keeping was poor and there is dispute over numbers, but estimates indicate that anywhere from tens of thousands to a hundred thousand Aboriginal children, mainly under five years old and mainly those that were mixed race–approximately 10% of the Aboriginal population–were taken from their families in this way. They now compose what have come to be called “The Stolen Generations.” The practice officially ended in 1970 and only came to real public light in 1997 with the Australian Human Rights Commission’s publication of “Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families.” In this video, pioneering Aboriginal rock band Yothu Yindi’s “Treaty” blasts the long, long overdue notion that there should be a formal treaty between Australia’s settlers and indigenous peoples, and the empty promises politicians made in the ’90s to sign one.