The next big step has been taken in 1992, when the aboriginal land rights have been formally recognized, in the Mabo court case. That means, the natives could now officially own land, something that has not been possible for a very long time in their history. Although many rights have been recognized in the late years to the native, the racial war between the white and the black still continues. For example, over a time of almost 60 years a large number of children (approximately 100,000) has been taken away from their parents and given to European families to bring them up or simply institutionalized.
According to the Australian Office for Statistics in 1994, 10 per cent of Aborigines over 25 were removed from their parents in childhood. The whole issues has been called ‘The stolen generation’. An Aboriginal Ordinance was established in 1912 which authorized the removal of any Aboriginal children from their families and communities. Since then, even until the 1970s, children from very early ages have been taken away from their mothers to be “civilized”.
Of course, these children were the chosen from the ‘mixed blood’ group , the ones that could be converted, as there was no hope for the pure aboriginals, which would die out anyway, as expressed by the authorities at that time. In 1997 the Catholic and Anglican Churches officially apologized for their role in the stolen generation policy. Despite all these various injustices being done to the native Australians, the aboriginal culture is stronger than ever, the population is growing faster, it survives.
Although still very small, it constitutes now 1. 5 percent of the Australian population. Many Aboriginals have moved away from the large settlements to establish smaller more homogenous communities on land to which they have traditional ties. Despite enormous pressure put on it, Aboriginal culture has retained its uniqueness and much of its strength. Also in the last few years the natives and the rest of the Australian population started to sense that there is time for reconciliation and for living all happily together.
People want to end the racist war between each other, they want to recognize and to be recognized as all part of the same continent, same country. For this reason, earlier this year there has been a major marching across the harbour bridge of Sydney, where an estimated crowd of 150,000 people marched together in an emotional expression to support the reconciliation between the native people and the rest of the community. They were all asking for a treaty concerned the rights of the native aboriginals.
As one of the aboriginal political spokesmen, Gatjil Djerrkura, once said, “it is essential that all parties recognize that indigenous peoples possess distinct rights arising from our status as first peoples, our relationship with our territories and waters, and our own system of law and governance. The principle of self-determination is central to this. ” The Australian aboriginal population, it’s culture, history and art is more and more recognized around the world. Aboriginal artworks have become very popular among art collectors, investors and the general public nationwide and internationally.
Many of their paintings and artworks are coming from motifs of ‘Dreamtime’. This motif is very strong in the Australian indigenuous population, and they are using it over and over to express their ties with the land, with the ancestors, with their lives here for over 40,000 years ago. According to Aboriginal belief, all life as it is today – Human, Animal, Bird and Fish is part of one great unchanging network of relationships which can be traced to the great spirit ancestors of the Dreamtime.
The Dreamtime continues as the “Dreaming” in the spiritual lives of aboriginal people today. It continues in their paintings, drawings, pottery, Didjeridus instruments, and many other forms of art. It shows that even though the Australian Aborigines have endured through numerous European persecution over the last 200 years, they are now stronger than ever. They did not give up and will survive, their culture will survive for the times to come. Racial relations between Aborigines and Europeans in Australia.