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Volume ∞ Issue ∞

The Stolen Generation

Fri, Mar 18th, 2011
Posted in Journal Student Writing Project

If you haven't heard about the "Stolen Generation," you aren't alone. I only just heard about it when my teacher was giving me ideas on what to write for this column. I've been reading all the other students 'articles, and it seems that most of them are on their senior year. I didn't want to write about that because it seems like it would be the same story every time. So when my teacher told me about this topic, I was really intrigued.

The Stolen Generation is about mixed descent Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people who were removed from their families. They were removed because the people thought that they would have a better life with white people. They were raised by these white people, and they were supposed to reject the Aboriginals. They had to work as slaves for the family they lived with. This all happened between 1869-1969, although people say it has happened before and after this time.

Some of the people were forcibly removed. The babies were taken from parents just shortly after birth. Families were required to sign legal documents. Seventeen percent of females and 80 percent of the males said they were sexually assaulted while at work for the people.

There was one story I read about how someone was in the post office with her cousin and both their mothers. It said they were all loaded into a police car and were driven somewhere. Soon, the car stopped, and the two mothers were thrown out. The officers drove off with the two kids, who were screaming in the back. The police officers put the kids in lock-up for two days while they waited for a boat to pick them up.

While I was reading about this, I felt horrible. I kept asking myself why anybody would want to do this kind of thing. These families had to live their lives not knowing if their kids were okay, or if they were somewhere possibly dead.

I heard that they were taken because they were part white, so they weren't "full-blood. " If this is true, that makes me feel even worse than before. But if not, it still doesn't change the way I feel about the whole situation. I think it's just horrible that anyone would feel like its okay to take children from their families. I would think that the police officers and other officials who were taking these children would want to be helping them, and trying to stop all this.

Heather Tangen is a student at Mabel-Canton High School. She is one of 10 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its twelfth year.

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