Aboriginal And Torres Islander History

Aboriginal And Torres Islander History

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Aboriginal And Torres Islander History

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Aboriginal And Torres Islander History

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Discuss about the Aboriginal and Torres Islander History.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are decedents of Torres Strait Island, which is a part of Queensland, Australia. These people have several different cultural and social aspects compared to the non-indigenous Australians. The number of aboriginal inhabitants vary prior and after the British and European colonization and currently less than 1 million aboriginal inhabitants are residing in Australia (Aspin et al., 2012). These people undergone several discriminations as they were forcefully removed from their own place and when they started resisting such forces, they had to face violence. Further, using political, economic and social factors, they were kept deprived of their rights, basic fundamental needs such as food, health and shelter and their own cultural heritage (Attwood, 2012). This essay focuses on the diversity and cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and will discuss the political and social factors that limited their engagement in Australian community. Further, their past and present power relationships, their values, laws and kinship as well as will discuss the factors that force these people to suffer from common diseases racial trauma. Finally, few ways will be proposed to deliver the rights and services to these people will be discussed.
After the colonization of British and European community, the relationship between aboriginals and Europeans was friendly however, with time, they were pulled out of their homes, lands, food resources and ordered them a nomadic life. From the historic evidences it can be determine d that between 1790 and 1810, several attacks were carried by the aboriginal leaders to destroy English colonies (Lowe & Yunkaporta, 2013). The negative effect of British and European colonization can be understood from the evidence that mentions that within the year 1788 to 1900, the number of aboriginal community decreased by 90%. The primary reason for this decrease was loss of land, loss of aboriginal leaders in direct wars with colonizers and the emergence of contagious diseases. The social and economic issue that detached the entire Australian community from them was their response to the White colonizers (Negin et al., 2015). They were fighting against the discrimination and racial behaviors of colonizers that deprived them from social support, food and shelter. They were forcefully pulled out of their natural food and water resources and within the year 1870, all the fertile lands were abducted by the British colonizers. Due to loss of their assets and natural resources, the socio-economic status of aboriginal community started decreasing that made them deprived of their basic fundamental needs such as good health, food and shelter. Further, poor economic status, with deprived education, poverty leads them towards homelessness, social isolation, family breakdown, crime and financial hardship (McKenna, 2012).
Besides these they had to suffer from domestic violence, injustice and discrimination in healthcare as well. The diverse culture and history of aboriginals were also affected with this colonization as it also affected their way of living, spiritual beliefs and the family kinship tradition. These were affected in the areas where the number of non-indigenous population was higher. Further due to their cultural values and beliefs, they has to face systematic racism and discrimination that affect their social inclusion and communication abilities (Lowe & Yunkaporta, 2013). This scenario is of present Australia where despite the presence of lawful provisions against racial discriminations, these people has to face workplace discrimination, vilification and social exclusion related discrimination that affect their normal features of daily lives. Further there are several socio-political issues that affect the involvement of aboriginals in Australian colonizing culture (Peters-Little, Curthoys & Docker, 2013). The racial and social discrimination and exclusion affected the political journey of this community as due to these they were not appointed on powerful positions and they were also not provided as Australian citizen till 1967. Besides these, the aboriginal children had to grow up in a condition that provided them with two kind of histories of their culture and identity. The first identity was preserved by their families and the second was humiliating description of their cultural presence in school textbooks. Hence, these discrimination and racial exclusion of aboriginals from Australian society created a big gap in the communication and isolation of this community in the Australian society (Sherwood, 2013).
Colonization also affected the health of aboriginals as after the colonization, the ill health of aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders was increased. After the colonization of British and European population in Australia, the number of epidemic diseases such as chicken pox, measles, influenza and small pox started spreading quickly and within very less amount of time affected the entire community (McKenna, 2012). The number of infection in large aboriginal communities were higher than smaller aboriginal communities that lead to death of thousands of aboriginal islanders at that time. This traumatic epidemic not only affected the health of the next generation of aboriginals but also lead them suffer from healthcare inequalities as due to the fear of racial discrimination, social exclusion and lower socio-economic status, the aboriginal community refrain themselves from taking part in decision making, communicating and taking part in fundamental needs such as employment, education healthcare that also limited their scope of information (Lowe & Yunkaporta, 2013). Hence, the inclusion strategy of this community in mainstream Australian society should be implemented from the basics by changing the way people think about their history and identity. Further, they should be given equal parts in the education, employment and service provisions so that their community’s position in the society can be improved. Moreover, they should be provided with the fundamental needs such as food, shelter, education employment and healthcare so that holistic inclusion can be enforced (Daschuk, 2013).
This essay dealt with the social and political history of aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders and discussed their differential cultural and beliefs that discriminated them from the rest of the Australians. Further, a few short strategies to involve them into the mainstream Australian society has been mentioned in this essay.
Aspin, C., Brown, N., Jowsey, T., Yen, L., & Leeder, S. (2012). Strategic approaches to enhanced health service delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with chronic illness: a qualitative study. BMC health services research, 12(1), 143.
Attwood, B. (2013). Returning to the Past: The South Australian Colonisation Commission, the Colonial Office and Aboriginal Title. The Journal of Legal History, 34(1), 50-82.
Daschuk, J. W. (2013). Clearing the plains: Disease, politics of starvation, and the loss of Aboriginal life (Vol. 65). University of Regina Press.
Lowe, K., & Yunkaporta, T. (2013). The inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in the Australian National Curriculum: A cultural, cognitive and socio-political evaluation. Curriculum Perspectives, 33(1), 1-14.
McKenna, M. (2012). Transplanted to Savage Shores: Indigenous Australians and British birthright in the mid nineteenth-century Australian colonies. Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 13(1).
Negin, J., Aspin, C., Gadsden, T., & Reading, C. (2015). HIV among Indigenous peoples: a review of the literature on HIV-related behaviour since the beginning of the epidemic. AIDS and Behavior, 19(9), 1720-1734.
Peters-Little, F., Curthoys, A., & Docker, J. (2013). Passionate Histories: Myth, Memory and Indigenous Australia (p. 324). ANU Press.
Sherwood, J. (2013). Colonisation–It’s bad for your health: The context of Aboriginal health. Contemporary Nurse, 46(1), 28-40.

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