Saturday, November 23, 2013

Story: Rabbit Proof Fence--Aboriginal People of Australia

I came across a story I had never heard anything about before.  It is in a book "Reader's Digest: Incredible Journeys." There was a book "The Rabbit Proof Fence", and a movie with the same title about the aboriginal people of Australia in 1931.  As a general policy in Australia, there was a move to integrate aboriginal people.  One way of doing this was to take their children, and have them raised in white homes or schools, with the hopes they would behave more white.  The women could become domestics, and the men farm hands.  This is the story of three young women/ girls, two sisters and a cousin.  They were taken from their community, and placed in a boarding home.  The escaped the next day, determined to return to their own home, 1000 miles away.  As a guide they used a fence, and thus the book’s name. 
Being that young, and walking that far is not easy.  It is harder if people are looking for you with the goal of returning you to the boarding school.  Someone they were outside the law wanting to live with their parents.  The cousin was the youngest, and she had injured herself on thorns and her legs were infected.  She heard her parents had moved closer, and when she went to find them she was caught.  The other two girls continued to their homes, and finally made it.  The families decided to move, because the authorities would come looking for the girls.  They were able to stay with their families, but one of the girls, when she became an adult, her children were taken away and they were raised by others.  In the name of progress, and doing good, sometimes we as humans do some stupid things.

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