Painful legacy: Aboriginal activists are seeking financial reparations for the Australian government’s assimilation program.
Even though imperialism clearly isn’t a thing of the past as a global phenomenon, the Australian government is preparing to verbally own up to a painful chapter from its own national history by formally apologizing to Aborigines for past attempts at “civilizing” their people via forced assimilation initiatives that spanned more than five decades.
Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said the apology would be the first item of business when the new legislature convened on 13 February.
It is aimed at the “Stolen Generations”—Aboriginal children taken from their parents to be raised by white families.
It was the “first, necessary step to move forward from the past”, she said.