It pains me to have been reminded that not just people indigenous to America are ill-treated, but that other people around the world who are indigenous to their region are also being subjected to ill-treatment, contempt, outright ignoring of their plight, abject poverty, low unemployment and a host of other ills.
I read an article about the Aborigines of Australia and how the suicide rate among them is skyrocketing. This is mirroring the exact same thing that is going on here in America on Indian Reservations. In both instances, these people have the same issues in common; an unconcerned government, abject poverty, high substance abuse, suicide, hopelessness, despair, anger, frustration and they are the First Peoples of their land.
When the Europeans settled here, they supposedly paid the Indians for their land, however, many land treaties were ignored or broken and the land was simply stolen. The Indians were killed and several tribes were wiped off the face of ‘America’. The First Peoples were herded onto reservations, had their culture stripped from them, along with their land and were told to assimiliate or else. History has shown us that to the ‘victor go the spoils’ and that history is also written from the viewpoint of the conqueror, never the conquered. History is also ‘airbrushed’ as many do not want their misdeeds to be seen in the true light for what they were, enslavement, killing, stealing, raping, pillaging and much of this was done in the name of religion as was the case with the African slaves dragged from Africa to America and yes I know, Africans are not Indigenous to America, however, their treatment is also disgustingly abhorrent as was what happened to the Indians.
The Aborigines suffered the same fate as the Indians Indigenous to America. People showed up from different lands, many were convicts. A penal colony was formed at Botany Bay set up by Great Britain. The following includes more on that:
The first 736 convicts banished from England to Australia land in Botany Bay. Over the next 60 years, approximately 50,000 criminals were transported from Great Britain to the “land down under,” in one of the strangest episodes in criminal-justice history.
The accepted wisdom of the upper and ruling classes in 18th century England was that criminals were inherently defective. Thus, they could not be rehabilitated and simply required separation from the genetically pure and law-abiding citizens. Accordingly, lawbreakers had to be either killed or exiled, since prisons were too expensive. With the American victory in the Revolutionary War, transgressors could no longer be shipped off across the Atlantic, and the English looked for a colony in the other direction.
Although not confined behind bars, most convicts in Australia had an extremely tough life. The guards who volunteered for duty in Australia seemed to be driven by exceptional sadism. Even small violations of the rules could result in a punishment of 100 lashes by the cat o’nine tails. It was said that blood was usually drawn after five lashes and convicts ended up walking home in boots filled with their own blood–that is, if they were able to walk at all.
Convicts who attempted to escape were sent to tiny Norfolk Island, 600 miles east of Australia, where the conditions were even more inhumane. The only hope of escape from the horror of Norfolk Island was a “game” in which groups of three prisoners drew straws. The short straw was killed as painlessly as possible and a judge was then shipped in to put the other two on trial, one playing the role of killer, the other as witness.
As bad as the transported convicts had it, the Aborigines suffered even more.
Clashes with colonists
When Europeans first began to colonise Australia, towards the end of the 18th century AD, they found cultures and environments which, in hindsight, were of incalculable value.
Much of this ancient legacy has been destroyed forever in the subsequent two centuries.
Contact between new settlers, under imperial British rule, and Australia’s indigenous people, led to the decimation of many Aboriginal groups due to disease, dispossession and in tens of thousands of cases, outright murder.
As populations declined and were fragmented, many unique linguistic and cultural traditions as well as valuable knowledge about the land and its fauna and flora were lost forever.
Seizure of Australia by British Imperial forces was claimed to take place under British law.
Even at that time, the British legal system had developed some traditions of fair dealings with native populations inside colonies.
These constraints were not applied on the ground in Australia. Invasion and blatant land theft by settlers were justified under the astonishing legal fiction of “Terra Nullius” – the notion that Australia was effectively unoccupied before British colonisation.
The lack of indigenous systems of land ownership (in the European tradition of private land ownership) was used to give credence the idea of Terra Nullius. The basic idea was that it was impossible to rob Aboriginal people of land, as they’d previously never owned land.
source:www.didjshop.com/shop/AbCulturecart-About Australian Aboriginal Culture-the world’s longest continuous culture?
It would seem to be the case that Indigenous Peoples all around the world have been grossly abused, misused, killed and had their land stolen from underneath them and yet, centuries later, their plight is still the same.
And the Indians Indigenous to America?
The following is from “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee” written by Dee Brown:
“On the morning of November 29, 1864, 600 Cheyenne and Arapahos camped on a bend of Sand Creek were awakened by the sound of charging hooves. Two thirds of these 600 were women and children as the government granted able bodied men to go east and hunt buffalo to feed their hungry families. Only 35 braves were in the camp. This made the ensuing charge all the more frightening for the women, children, elders, and remaining braves.
So great was the fear of the coming charge that men, women, and children ran from their lodges into the biting cold taking no time to fully dress. The partially dressed Indians began to gather under a huge American flag above Black Kettles lodge (Black Kettle was given the huge American flag and peace medals by Abraham Lincoln and Colonel A. B. Greenwood in Washington only a year earlier and was told that as long as the American flag was above them, no one would be harmed). The braves present surrounded the women and children gathered under the flag. At 8:00 am more than 700 cavalry men under the command of Colonel John M. Chivington and Major Scott J. Anthony, rode in and fired on the huddled Indians from two directions. After the initial charge the US soldiers dismounted and continued the indiscriminate killing of men, women, and children. During the killing unspeakable atrocities and mutilations were committed by the soldiers. Accounts from two white men, John S. Smith and Lieutenant James Connor, described the acts of dehumanization.”
According to John S. Smith, Colonel Chivington knew these Indians to be peaceful before the massacre. Smith witnessed, as did helpless Indian mothers and fathers, young children having their sex organs cut away. U.S. soldiers mutilated Native American women, cutting away their breasts and removing all other sex organs. After the Massacre, soldiers displayed the women’s severed body parts on their hats and stretched them over their saddle-bows while riding in the ranks. The sex organs of every male were removed in the most grotesque manner. One soldier boasted that he would make a tobacco pouch with the removed privates of White Antelope, a respected elder. Conner witnessed a soldier displaying the body parts of a woman on a stick. The fingers of Indians were cut off to get at the rings on them. Connor remembered a baby only a few months old who had been hidden in the feed box of a wagon for protection. When the soldiers discovered the baby some time later, the baby was thrown onto the frozen ground to die. In going over the site the next day, it was noted that every corpse was mutilated in some way, and scalped.
source:Native American Atrocities – http://www.lastoftheindependents.com/chivington.html
..and we have the gall to call ourselves, ‘human’.