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Living in Canada we as Canadians take pride in our culture, kindness, hospitality, and sports. Everyone around the world views both Canada and Australia as kind, multicultural caring countries that accept refugees from war torn-nations. Although Canada and Australia are looked as peace-keeping countries, in the past the government of both nations made a number of laws that had a major impact on the Aboriginal youth. I believe that the same piece of land we formed our country on is the same land built on blood, mistreatment, and oppression. To discover information on the treatment of aboriginal youth by the governments of Canada and Australia, as well as the similarities and differences of treatment, we must take a closer look back at both countries history and also at the period when the Juvenile Delinquent Act was enacted.
In earlier stages of Canadian history, the government enrolled Aboriginal youth into residential schools. The goal of a residential school was to erase the Aboriginal culture from their youth and implement Canadian ideologies. While aboriginal’s youth were struggling in Canada, In Australia a similar process was occurring, If we take a look at the film called (Noyce, Winter & Olsen, 2002) “Rabbit Proof Fence” we will find that many half-caste aboriginal children were taken away from their parents by the government and were forced to bread out their skin color. The main characters in the movie Molly Craig, her younger sister, and her cousin During these stages of history, if the Aboriginal youths were not like the rest of Canadians and Australians, they were believed to be against them.
The Juvenile Delinquent Act of 1908 in Canada saw decent amounts of positive changes to the justice system. Although According to an article by the Maple Leaf Web (Makarenko, 2007) “The discretion given to judges led to significant variations in sentencing for similar offences. A provision allowing provinces to set the maximum legal age for defining a youth led to variations in sentencing” (para 6).
The film “Rabbit Roof Fence” shows us that we still have a lot to learn about the Aboriginal people. to Currently individuals will mention that we live in the ‘21st’ century stating that history will not repeat itself. Pursuant to the 21st Century, many of the Aboriginals living in poverty who’re homeless may visualize a different point of view, because they can see the reality from the experience of intergenerational trauma. Although we live in the 21st century Aboriginals are still faced with challenges including both the Aboriginals that have assimilated to society’s norms and those who remained loyal to their cultural traditions. I believe the outcomes of societies treatment towards Aboriginals people is simply known as racism. Although racism is a word to describe the treatment, there are many other issues within society that Aboriginals have been facing, which includes; poverty, substance abuse.
There are a number of similarities when it comes to incarceration rates of Aboriginal youth in Canada and Australia. According to an article by the Guardian (Wahlquist, 2016) “59% of all children in detention in Australia are Indigenous, compared with 40% of children in Canadian youth jails” (para 4). As we can see, there aren’t many differences in the way the justice system in both countries treated the aboriginal youth. Although Canada has made efforts to address this issue, in Australia there still a number of changes that need to be made. If we refer to an article by Aljazeera we will find how sever this problem is (Kurmelovs, 2015) “At any given time, one in 77 Aboriginal boys will be detained by Western Australia’s criminal justice system” (para 1). We can notice that the only issue currently in question is why hasn’t Canada and Australia solved its issues with incarceration of Aboriginal youths?
In conclusion, the government’s treatment towards the Aboriginal youth is simply known as racism. After exploring information on the treatment of Aboriginal youth in Canada and Australia and the history of treatment, we can clearly see that there weren’t many changes made. I believe it’s crucial for individuals to learn from Canada’s true history because if we repeat history, then we’re wasting time. The treatment of Aboriginals will go on to be an issue within Canada and Australia until people in these nations learn to accept different cultures and provide support to make changes. As of now, the past and the ongoing mistreatment of Aboriginal youth has caused much debate around the world, which side will you choose?
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