Monday, August 13, 2007

Australia Vs. Canada

In Canada the Conservative Government refuses to apologize to aboriginal peoples for the residential school scandal. In Australia they also refuse to apologize, recognize or pay for their assimilation policy.

Prime minister John Howard's government has refused to apologise for the Stolen Generation and resisted calls to set up a compensation fund.

This week Mr Trevorrow, 50, won a landmark compensation claim in the South Australian supreme court, the first payment of its kind. A judge awarded him A$525,000 (£220,000), acknowledging that he had been "falsely imprisoned by the state", that the authorities had failed in their duty of care towards him and that such conduct had ruptured the bond between him and his natural family, leading to lifelong depression.

Of course Liberal Government was forced by the Supreme Court to recognize the British Colonial legacy of Aboriginal Assimilation , which was assimilate or die, and pay out for the residential school program. Which is the only reason the current Conservative Government is making any payout.

Aboriginals spent decades fighting to have the government recognize the abuses they suffered in the school system that Ottawa supported financially between the 1870s and 1970s.

Tens of thousands of First Nations young people were taken from their families for months at a time and deprived of their culture. Many were sexually or physically abused by school staff.

In 1998, Ottawa acknowledged that there was widespread abuse at the schools and offered an apology to the victims.

The former Liberal government announced a $1.9-billion compensation package to residential school survivors in late 2005, along with $60 million for the TRC, $10 million for commemoration and $125 million for healing initiatives and programs. Less than a year later, the Conservative government approved the deal, and increased funding for commemoration to $20 million.

But like their Australian counterparts the Canadian Conservative Government still refuses to formerly apologize.

Phillip also cited the Harper government's refusal to apologise for Canada's decades-long programme of forcing First Nations children into the notorious residential school system, where they were denied contact with relatives and stripped of their cultural heritage. According to one government report, conditions were so terrible that between 1894 and 1908, the death rate among students at residential schools in Western Canada ranged from 35 percent to 60 percent.

The last residential school closed in 1997 amid revelations of widespread sexual and physical abuse of students in the system. A compensation package was approved through the courts, but many First Nations viewed the decision as not going far enough.


Post Modern Conservatives

Howard Visits Canada

Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , ,, , ,
, , , , , ,
, , , , ,

No comments: