Drawing on McRae el al. (pp. 25-40), and reading 2-1 by Daly, describe the rationale behind the implementation of protection-segregation and assimilation policies. Give two examples of how these policies would contribute to the criminalisation of Indigeno Essay
PROTECTION-SEGREGATION AND ASSIMILATION POLICIES
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Implementation of protection-segregation and assimilation policies
Aboriginal family life has been disrupted and forcibly changed as a result of the many segregation and assimilation policies introduced by Australian governments. These policies were introduced and implemented at different phases and had different impacts on the indigenous people. The protection-segregation policies were based on two assumptions. Firstly, the Aboriginal people were believed to be biologically different from the non-Aboriginal (Haebich & Anna, 2000). The second assumption asserted that the Aboriginal people were inferior to the white people. This first phase assumed that the indigenous people were becoming extinct. Thus protection-segregation policy aimed to separate the Aboriginal people and be protected until they completely become extinct. It also strived to completely remove the increasing number of the Aboriginals termed as ‘half caste’ or the ‘non-full blood’ (Haebich & Anna, 2000).
The second phase integrated the protection-segregation policy with the assimilation policies. Under the white Australian and assimilation policies, the Aboriginal and indigenous people were to be assimilated into the broader society. The rationale behind this policy was to integrate the Aboriginal with the white society so that eventually no indigenous people would be left (Haebich & Anna, 2000). During that time, the indigenous people were seen as of ‘non full blood’ and as an inferior race. Children were taken away from Aboriginal parents to be raised up as ‘white’ and taught to forget their Aboriginal originality. These children were placed in new institutions with the white families, to be trained and eventually become labourers or servants. Some people perceived assimilation positively as a move from segregation to integration. They argued that the Aboriginal people lead a very poor life and the institutions would expose them to positive and better environment (Cunneen & Terry, 1995).
Both the protection-segregation and assimilation policies regarded the indigenous people as social outsiders. During these phases of policies implementation, there was a high level of criminalization. The policies contributed to the criminalization of indigenous people’s behaviours. It disrupted the social, economic and political aspects of their life. The indigenous people behaved just as they were perceived by the non-Aboriginal (Haebich & Anna, 2000). The behaviours that were acceptable among the non-indigenous people were criminalized for indigenous people. The policies implementation caused many indigenous people to engage in drinking alcohol. They also disobeyed the all the rules set by the prosecutor of the white region. The high racism and discrimination caused by the protection-segregation and assimilation policies made the indigenous people to change their behavior (Cunneen & Terry, 1995).
The protection-segregation and assimilation policies subjected to the indigenous people affected their social-economical and political life. They were deprived of their employment rights and freedom. The colonizing practices which affected the indigenous people included loss of their properties, family breakups and disrespect. The increased denial and oppression of the indigenous people prevented them from improving their economic status. This was as a result of their segregation from the economic mainstream (Cunneen & Terry, 1995). All these factors facilitated criminalization of the indigenous people. They could not participate in any activity. They developed psychological problems since they were segregated from their own culture. A new community was created which was viewed as poor and inferior by the white people. Certainly, these pressures from the white people and the harsh standards of living made the Aboriginal or the indigenous people engage into criminal activities since they were already perceived as criminals (Cunneen & Terry, 1995).
Cunneen, & Terry, L. (1995). Indigenous people and the law in Australia. Butterworths: North
Haebich & Anna (2000). Broken Circles: Fragmenting Indigenous Families
Fremantle, WA: Fremantle Arts Centre Press.
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