Aboriginal Reservations Essay

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Aboriginal Reservations Joel Schain Sophomore English 5/13/11 Indigenous Australians, also known as Aboriginal people, were the first humans to inhabit the Australian continent and nearby islands. Aboriginal people make up about 2.5 % of Australia’s population. In 1778, the British began colonization In Australia. They took the Aboriginal people from their homes and put them in camps or reservations because they believed they did not belong in the general public. “The reserve system was designed primarily to separate Aborigines from white society,” (Aboriginal Reserves). They kept the Aboriginal people at these camps for their whole lives, and the only way to get out was to escape. When the colonists came, they took over large areas of land for farming. The local Aboriginal people were pushed the edge of survival, because the natural resources they relied on to live were depleted by colonial livestock and agriculture. This fight over land soon led to wars, which the Aboriginal people often lost due to the more advanced weaponry of the Europeans. At the reserves, the Aboriginal people were employed for farm and domestic duties. The residents of these reservations were not paid for their labor, and were expected to work for only rations. Many of the camps made money from the crops grown by the Aboriginal people, but the Aboriginal laborers never received any of the profits. In 1873, residents at a camp called Coranderrk protested after a very successful crop season, demanding compensation. They were successful in their protest, but “The pay was only one third of what non-Aboriginal workers received,” (Missions and Reserves Background). Even though they were confined to reservations, “Aboriginal people formed and maintained strong communities and used their confinement as the impetus for political campaigns, human rights movements and the fight for the
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