This chapter considers the removal of Indigenous children as a global colonial and neocolonial tactic. The history of the Australian Stolen Generations is focused on, from the beginning of the abduction of children in the early 1900s up until 2015. The landmark 1997 Bringing Them Home: Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families was central to the emergence of national and international awareness of the systemic abuse of First Peoples human rights in Australia and the profound wounding of Stolen Generations. Drawing attention to how the removal of First Peoples children is sanctioned by western child rearing discourses, the chapter explores how the pathologisation of Indigenous families by such discourses embed racist stereotypes of neglectful Indigenous mothers, abusive Indigenous fathers and damaged Indigenous children as deviant Others. In this context, the Australian Indigenous mental health movement has emerged within a rising de-colonisation movement founded on the principle of self-determination. Indigenous psychology in Australia, although an historically recent movement, has been at the forefront of de-colonising the western child development and child rearing discourses which justified, and continue to justify, the removal of Indigenous children from their people. The movement is also reviving and supporting culturally appropriate healing in order to strengthen and restore the social and emotional wellbeing of First Peoples damaged by generations of forced removals.
The information contained on this website has been sourced by the Australian Indigenous Psychology Education Project (AIPEP) and AIPEP 2. The first AIPEP was funded by the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning. AIPEP 2 is part of the Transforming Indigenous Mental Health and Wellbeing Project, funded by the Million Minds Mission Grant. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office of Teaching and Learning or the Million Minds Mission Grant.
Several of the images used throughout this website are credited to Chris Lewis