17 Stories

Oldest Australian Human Returned to 42K-Year-Old Grave

The Mungo Man is home

(Newser) - The oldest human remains found in Australia were on Friday returned to the Outback desert that he roamed some 42,000 years ago in a ceremony celebrated by traditional owners, the AP reports. The ice age Aborigine was dubbed Mungo Man after the dry salt Lake Mungo where he was... More »

First Nation Suit: Canada's Parliament Is on Our Land

Aboriginal group says it never relinquished title

(Newser) - Ottawa's Parliament, Supreme Court, and the National Library may soon have some new owners—or new old owners. The city's south bank where these three institutions lie is in the middle of a land ownership lawsuit filed Wednesday by a Quebec First Nation, CTV News reports. "The... More »

Canada: Way We Treated Aboriginal Kids Was 'Cultural Genocide'

Report condemns forced schooling

(Newser) - Investigators interviewed 6,750 people over six years to compile a 360-page report on the Canadian government's old policy of forced schooling for aboriginal kids, but two words will do: "cultural genocide." That's the term the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report uses to describe the government'... More »

Genes Show Ancient Link Between Australia, India

Migrants from India brought dingoes, researchers say

(Newser) - The belief that Australia's Aborigines existed in isolation for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers has been upended by a new genetic study, the BBC reports. Researchers found that while there is a strong genetic link between Aboriginal Australians and the people of New... More »

Assange Will Get Aboriginal Passport

Symbolic move comes from group in his native Australia

(Newser) - Just Julian Assange's luck: He's being offered a passport, but it's from a nation that doesn't exist. In a symbolic gesture of support, an Aboriginal group in his native Australia today issued the passport in his name and presented it to Assange's father, reports the... More »

PM Loses Shoe in Australia Day Protest

Julia Gillard stumbles as she tries to pass through indigenous right supporters

(Newser) - It sounds perfectly routine: Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott appeared at a restaurant in Canberra today—which just so happens to be Australia Day—to preside over an awards ceremony. What it turned into was an ugly mess, as some 200 supporters of indigenous rights... More »

Australia's Aborigines in Cycle of Poverty, Jail

Kids are 28 times more likely to be detained than other Australian kids

(Newser) - For Australian Aborigines, life in the Outback has grown so bleak, jail is not only more appealing, it has nearly become a rite of passage for teens. A parliamentary report last week called the worsening situation a national crisis, noting the imprisonment rate for indigenous Australians has soared 66% in... More »

Aussies to Vote on Recognizing Aborigines

Gillard plans referendum on changing constitution

(Newser) - Australia is planning a referendum on whether to officially recognize indigenous people in the country's constitution for the first time. Prime Minister Julia Gillard described the move as a "once-in-50-year opportunity" to heal the government's relationship with Aborigines and improve their living conditions, the BBC reports. More »

UN Calls Aussie Aboriginal Policies Racist

(Newser) - Australia’s interventions in remote Aboriginal communities “overtly discriminate” against them, and prove that entrenched racism remains in Australia, a UN official said today. In 2007, Australia sent police and troops to aboriginal lands, and instituted special bans on alcohol and pornography. These measures "infringe their right of... More »

Aussie Bursts Into Flames After Police Taser Blast

(Newser) - An Australian man has been hospitalized with burns over 20% of his body after he burst into flames when Tasered by police, reports the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Police say they had no choice but to use the stun gun on the man—a known gas-sniffer and violent offender—when... More »

Drowning in Alcohol, Aborigines Split Over Booze Ban

Some see restrictions as infringement on hard-won rights

(Newser) - As the Australian government cracks down on alcohol in Aboriginal areas, some communities are taking matters into their own hands, instituting local restrictions on booze, the New York Times reports. Some indigenous leaders see alcohol as a blight on their communities, fueling child abuse and domestic violence. But others see... More »

Aussie 'Tough Love' Upends Aboriginal Society

Government push to stop alcoholism, violence erodes power of tribal elders

(Newser) - Australia's controversial "tough love" program is toppling the Aborigines' traditional social structure, the Wall Street Journal reports. The government's effort to tackle rampant violence, child abuse, and alcoholism among Aborigines by banning alcohol sales and supplying welfare payments in credit for food and other essentials instead of cash has... More »

Children Can Count Without Numbers

Study suggests that kids have innate math abilities

(Newser) - A study sure to fan a fiery disagreement among developmental psychologists has found that children can count objects even if their language lacks words for the numbers involved. Researchers found that Australian Aboriginal children, who know words for only a few small numbers, did just as well as English-speaking children... More »

In Aussie Outback, It's All in 'Skin' Name

Secondary tag tells others where you fit in a complicated kinship system

(Newser) - When she moved to the central Australian outback, Penny Bergen was ready for a drastically different life, but she didn’t know it would take a new name to stake her place in a tiny Aboriginal community. Reporting for Radio Free Netherlands, the journalist writes about her experience getting a... More »

Aussie PM Apologizes for Aborigine Child Abductions

Country watches and cheers as 'Sorry Day' apology to Aborigines is made

(Newser) - Australia's new prime minister made a formal apology to the Aborigines today for "stolen generations" of children the government had taken from their homes. Tens of thousands of Aboriginal children were placed in orphanages or foster homes in a century-long program of forced assimilation. Throngs watched on big screens... More »

Australia to Apologize to Aborigines for Stolen Kids

Children were abducted to 'assimilate' them

(Newser) - More than 100,000 Aborigine children were abducted from their parents and placed in  Australian orphanages and foster homes in a century-long campaign to assimilate them into European culture. Now new Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd will apologize for the abductions, carried out between 1869 and 1969, reports the Times... More »

Australia Bans Alcohol, Porn in Aboriginal Areas

Beefed-up measures target rampant sex abuse of children

(Newser) - Australia will ban alcohol and pornography in some Aboriginal areas in an attempt to tackle widespread child sex abuse. A report last week blamed booze and poverty for the high levels of abuse in Aboriginal communities throughout the Northern Territory. "Exceptional measures are required to deal with an exceptionally... More »

17 Stories