Aboriginal refers to the first people who originally settled in Australia. This group of settlers came from Asia and are made up of small groups that have been estimated to be around 500 and 600. Although these original Australian natives are composed of numerous distinct groups, they have certain characteristics which are common in almost all the groups (Short 2008). By around 1788, Australia experienced a new inversion where European settlers from England became fresh settlers. However, these new invaders did not agree with the locals and opted to use force and exploitation as a means of re-colonizing Australia (Jupp 2001). Owing to disagreement between the new settlers, the locals and the inability of the two parties to form a treaty, the European opted to declare Australia as uninhabited territory.
The declaration of Australia as uninhabited nation by the European marked the genesis of all the discrimination, prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes that Aboriginals have experienced in Australian history. At first, two plagues of small pox were passed to the Aboriginals in 1792 and 1822 (Fletcher 1994). This was followed by various diseases such as venereal diseases and later on mass-killing in 1926. Discrimination against aboriginals was so severe to an extent that they were not allowed to vote even when Australia became a democratic nation in 1901; with reconciliation is intended to restore peace and harmonious coexistence between Aboriginals and Australians through change of heart and perception of all races as one community.
Reconciliation of Aboriginals into the Australian community has been criticized because it not only entails making friendship after a long time division, but also aimed at re-uniting those who were once enemies (Fletcher 1994, p. 57-59). Such criticism is attributed to the fact that historically there has never been any form of friendship between Aboriginals and Australians. Consequently, any form of reconciliation is thought to be of no use because of the belief that it can never restore friendly existence between the Aboriginals and Australians (Fletcher 1994, p. 59).
Following the tainted long blood relationship that had existed between European-Australian settlers (Australian government) and the locals (Aboriginals), it is only prudent for the Australian governments to reconcile the local communities so as to eliminate incidences of revenge (Schwarz 2010, 6-9). For instance, in 1926, Aboriginals targeted European-Australian settlers for revenge. At the same time, the Australian government often reacted by killing the Aboriginals in mass for any incidences of murder committed by Aboriginals on European-Australian. This left the two communities at constant war and witch hunting. However, such problems would have been resolved easily by reconciling the Aboriginals and the colonizers (Jupp 2001). Nevertheless, it is not too late for the Australian governments to reconcile the Aboriginals as a commitment to peaceful co-existence.
Although the reconciliation of aboriginal culture into the Australian curriculum might be considered to be a too late action by the Australian government to reveal her commitment to fighting racism, the more is a step forward for the good of the whole nation (Johnston, Hinton & Rigney 2008, p. 182-185). It surfaces to cite that Aboriginals have varied cultural beliefs which can be used by Australian to forester cultural heritage. Presently, most people especially those in learning institutions have come to learn, appreciate, and develop confidence in the Aboriginals. This could be attributed to the integration of such form of culture into the school curriculum so as to help the students to learn and create awareness about the existence of Aboriginals (Johnston, Hinton & Rigney 2008, p. 186). With such, move, it is definite that the younger generation are not only accepting aboriginals as part and parcel of the Australian community, but they are also moving away from the colonial racism that had been developed by the older generation with regard to Aboriginals (Boothby & Kelly 2002).
Reconciliation of Aboriginals by various Australian may also not be too late owing to the fact that knowledge gained such culture would help the government to conserve the environment (Fletcher 1994, p. 57-60). Research shows that Aboriginals placed high value on land and all that comes from it. In fact, it is cited that what the Australian land offers presently is far much lower than what it offered when Aboriginals first came to Australia (Short 2008; Rolls & Johnson 2011). This implies that, there has been much land degradation whereby large animals and rich vegetables which once existed naturally have been replaced by domesticated and cultivated crops (Schwarz 2010, p. 8). However, such replacements are practically not commensurate to what initially existed in the natural environment during the time of Aboriginals. As such, much needs to be learnt from the Aboriginal culture especially with regard to living harmoniously with the environment (Bell & Kahane 2004, p. 117-120) Such capacity can only be attained by reconciling the Aboriginals and allowing them to live, exercise, and pass their lifestyle to the white man for the good of both humanity and the environment (Johnston, Rigney & Hinton p. 181).
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It is never too late for Australian governments to strive for reconciliation between Aboriginals and Australians. Fletcher (1994, p. 57) asserts that reconciliation should not be seen just an aspect of restoring friendship among the Aboriginals ad Australians, but as an avenue of encouraging healing, resolving disputes, creating understanding, changing of heart, and a new focus of the environment (Bell & Kahane 2004, p. 117). Taking the above understanding as the basis of reconciliation, it would be prudent for reconciliation to be emphasized by Australian governments (Rolls & Johnson 2011). Therefore such measure is not too late as it would propagate change of heart which in the long run might facilitate harmonious existence.
In conclusion, much has surrounded the idea of Aboriginal reconciliation by various Australian governments. Although some such move is intended to restore harmonious relationship within the Australian community, some have argued that it is too late for such move to be taken up. However, it would be unwise to discourage Australian governments from reconciling Aboriginals. Ideally, reconciliation is the best issue any government can ever strive for in the course of restoring peace among her people. It would be important for the Council of Aboriginal Reconciliation (CAR) to explain the mandate and the benefits that are to be attained by reconciling Aboriginals. Appropriate reconciliation measures should therefore aim at enhancing realistic inclusion of all tribes, races and communities in every aspect of the government.
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