By Colin Tatz
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Additional info for Aboriginal Suicide Is Different: A Portrait of Life and Self-Destruction
The ‘new violence’ Decolonisation In another context, I have tried to explain the contemporary violence (Tatz 1999). Briefly, my contention is that it is decolonisation, rather than colonisation, which is a root cause. It was only after the Labor Party won federal office at the end of 1972 that these segregated institutions began to be dismantled: the ‘inmates’ stayed and became citizens (in legal theory), but the ‘inspectors’ of the harsh rules ‘for the good order and discipline of the settlements’—the guards and the gatekeepers — disappeared, at least in the flesh.
My view of the treaty idea, the ‘Makarrata proposal’ as it was known, was published in 1983. I opposed the notion, for reasons which were and which remain cogent. My opposition to the notion, and its workability, does not mean that the present Aboriginal insistence on a treaty is wrong. Their reasons may be as valid as mine. Australian, 9 November 2000. Commonwealth of Australia (2000). For example, Australian, 8 December 2000. The Press, Christchurch, 24 September 1997. In 1997 the Crown apologised to the South Island Ngai Tahu peoples and restored Maori authority over lakes, mountains and other property, providing at least $170 million in compensation.
My assessment is much higher. I have not examined the remaining Board or child welfare records. I base my figure on an extrapolation of the numbers of forced removals and institutionalisation among the 1200 Aboriginal sportspeople recorded in my 1995 book on the Aboriginal experience as seen through the metaphor of sport. To cite one example: of the 172 men and women in the (revised) Aboriginal and Islander Sports Hall of Fame, 16 were removed, another 6 or 7 were adopted by white families, while another 22 grew up in institutions.