Continuing Effect of Dispossession on Aboriginal Spiritualties

Discuss the continuing effect of dispossession on aboriginal spiritualties in relation to: * separation from the land * separation from kinship groups * the Stolen Generations Dispossession is the process of the removal of a person or group from land, through the process of law. This dispossession has had a continuing damaging effect through a loss of spiritualties. Separation from the land meant that cultural practices and ceremonies associated with the land could not be carried out.

With restricted access to sacred sites and much tribal lore was lost, it ultimately meant that aboriginal people were unable to draw effectively on the spiritual power of the dreaming and their ancestor spirits. Dispossession broke up the kinship groups and so disturbed the religious and cultural beliefs and practices around which their lives had been centered. With Kinship being based around culture, rituals and hierarchy all are which embedded into Aboriginal spirituality, their rich oral tradition had been diminished.

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Ultimately this continuing effect on their spirituality through the separation from kinship groups led to the demise and uniqueness of Aboriginal beliefs. They were forced to subscribe to European values. The underlying aim of this policy was the idea that the Aboriginal race could be bred out of existence and so by separating children from their families and traditional background, it was hoped that they would adopt European culture and behavior.

The children taken away lost their language, spirituality and self-esteem and most importantly loss of cultural affiliation. Since they were denied any traditional knowledge Stolen Generations cannot take a role in the cultural and spiritual life of their Aboriginal communities. “I don’t know nothing about my culture. I don’t know nothing about the land and the language,” says Cynthia Sariago after her mothers passing. “It’s hard going back to your home country because you’re not really accepted by your mother’s traditional people.

Ultimately to deny Indigenous Australians access to their land is to cut their ties with the Dreaming as the Dreaming is inextricably connected to the land. Although the impact of dispossession for Aboriginal people has been enormous and overwhelmingly detrimental and can never be changed in history again, a considerable amount of effort has been made by the Australian government and catholic churches to repair the great damage done through Christian acknowledgement and the Kevin Rudd official apology speech to say sorry for the stolen generations.

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