Australia’s ‘Stolen Generation’, indigenous people, who were forcibly removed from their families in an effort to assimilate them into Australian society, welcomed the government’s reparations and remorse on Friday.
Thousands of such children were taken from their families between 1910 and 1970, in an effort to re-educate them and help them fit better into the society of European migrants who had set up colonies and cities there.
Some were taken in by private homes, others by Christian missions.
The move has since come to be seen as an attempt to eradicate indigenous society.
Members of the stolen generation shared their relief after the government, on Thursday, announced it had set aside 378.6 million Australian dollars ($280 million) in reparations for the abuses.
The survived members of the Stolen Generation would be eligible for 75,000 Australian dollars each as recognition for the harm caused by their removal
They will also get 7,000 Australian dollars in healing assistance as of March 2022.
“I was crying and laughing, and my granddaughter was trying to calm me down,’’ Eileen Cummings told Australian broadcaster, ABC on Friday.
She said many members of the Stolen Generation had fought for this step for a very long time.
Cummings was taken away from her parents as a four-year-old from the Arnhem Land settlement area and brought to a Methodist mission on Croker Island.
“The trauma I’ve had to endure, on my own, without my family, it’s been hard, it still affects me,’’ said Hal Hart, who was taken away from his mother at the age of 10.
“I feel today has been a triumph for my mother,’’ he said of the reparations.
“Not so much for me, but to recognise the hurt that was caused to my mother.’’ (dpa/NAN)