European colonization of Aboriginal people had a big impact on Aboriginal belief systems and their society. A great example of this is the movie Rabbit-proof Fence. The Aboriginal people’s religion, language, and lifestyles had to change. The British way of life was enforced onto the Aboriginals.
In 1931 it was the official policy of the government, that all half-castes (which were children with one parent that was aboriginal and one that was white) are to be taken from their families and raised in orphanages. In these places, they were grown up being taught to marry a white person or to become a domestic servant. To Mr. Neville (who was referred to as Mr. Deville by the Aboriginals) this policy did not seem cruel, he believed that that specific race must be helped.
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The story is basically about three half-caste girls, Molly (14years old), Daisy (8years) and Gracie (10years). Molly and Daisy were sisters and Gracie was their cousin. Molly, Daisy and Gracie were taken from their mothers to live in their orphanage at Moore River, which was more than 1200 miles away from their home. They were meant to learn ‘duty, service, and responsibility that every good Christian should abide by Molly, Daisy and Gracie did not find their new home comfortable and decided to run away at any opportunity they had.
In the movie there was a scene which was Molly, Daisy and Gracie were speaking their language and they were told off about it, and were told that the only language they were allowed to speak was English. They were told that it was shiburish. This indicated to us that their culture was not welcomed in their own land.
During the movie we never see defeat in Molly’s eyes, indicating to us that Aboriginal people do not tend to give up and will do what they can to gain their rights back. Even though the British’s religion and lifestyle were enforced on them they were not going to give up and still had hope deep within them. These three girls are part of what we refer to do as the Stolen Generation.
The reason for removing half-castes from their homes was to improve the Aboriginal people by placing them with white families, hoping to produce children of mixed races, and over the generations, they would become whiter and would have the black colour removed from Australia.
When we see the girls at the orphanage, we see that their face is filled with pain, suffering and stress that they are put under on a daily basis. You can also see the Aboriginal landscape in their eyes and how they are longing to breathe its air again.
Finally, the impact on Aboriginal people by the colonization of the British was an effective one, yet the Aboriginal people still practice their cultural beliefs and customs, yet the colonization, stolen generation etc. is scared within them forever.
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