References Foster, J., Finnis, E.J. and Nimon, M. (1995) Aboriginal Australia: a century of attitudinal change. in Australian Children’s Literature: an exploration of genre and theme. Wagga: CIS, Charles Sturt University Foster, J. (2005) White voices/black voices: indigenous children’s literature. in Bush, City, Cyberspace: the development of Australian Children’s Literature into the twenty-first century. Ed. John Foster, Ern Finnis and Maureen Nimon. Wagga: CIS, Charles Sturt University
Binary approaches Aboriginal voice/European voice Positive/negative Past/present History/future How do you prefer to remove a band-aid? Slowly and delicately … Just rip it straight off !!!
Some more References Bringing them home: report of the National Enquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and their Families (1997) Canberra: HREOC MacIntyre, S. and Clark, A. (2003) The History Wars. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press Windschuttle, K. (2002) The Fabrication of Aboriginal History. Paddington, NSW: Macleay Press Poad, D. (2003) The Fabrication of Aboriginal History by Keith Windschuttle: a critique. Agora. 38(3): 6-13
The History Wars Recent (and very strident) public debate between two historians and their supporters: Keith Windschuttle and Stuart MacIntyre Initially, about the use and misuse of historical sources and references. Windschuttle disputed the number of Aboriginals killed in the “frontier wars”. Therefore, vicious personal attacks involving racism, politics, professionalism, and the whole nature and use of History in society.
The “Black Armband” view of History Cf. “Political Correctness” – applying labels to dismiss inconvenient or opposing interpretations, usually for ulterior motives (e.g. political). Two ways of looking at this approach, depending on whether you support or oppose it: Too much focus on the negatives in history prevents positive growth away from them. The refusal to recognize past wrongs, learn from and redress them, perpetuates those wrongs. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” - Georges Santayana, 1905
Stolen Generation Government policy of (forcibly) removing mixed-race children from Aboriginal families to bring them up on European terms Enacted from motives seem as philanthropic at the time We may now interpret them as paternal, colonial, racist, cruel “Pure” Aboriginal society seen as doomed, therefore children were being rescued Supported by mission system and churches Continued into 1970s Similar programs in Canada and United States
Stolen Generation Based on the presumption that Europeans knew best, were entitled to make the decisions, and needed to act this way to “protect” Aboriginals The Burnt Stick - a fictionalised account, but its authenticity is undisputed European voice telling an Aboriginal child’s story – cf. Fat and Juicy Place, Dougy/Gracey. Does it work? Does the power of the story over-ride such cultural sensitivities?
The Drover’s Boy Story Who is at fault? Of what? Characters Is this a personal, or a social, story? How much can an individual be held responsible for society’s ills? Presentation Interaction of text and pictures
The Rabbits The European perception of the Aboriginal situation Is it purely metaphorical, or clearly representational? Interaction of text and pictures Is it a European story or an Aboriginal story?
Black voices/white voices Whose story is it? The author The key character (the voice) The audience Wider culture / society Is it a European story or an Aboriginal story? Does it belong BEFORE the author writes it?