eLaw Journal: Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law, Vol 16, No 2 (2009)

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The Canadian Response to Aboriginal Residential Schools: Lessons for Australia and the United States?

Julie Cassidy


The common policy of the Australian, Canadian and United States governments of removing aboriginal children from their families and placing them in institutions is now well documented. This article considers the responses to the stolen generations in Australia, Canada and United States. A major focus of the article is the historic compensation package agreed to by the Canadian government. Whilst the Canadian federal government has not been without criticism on this issue, it must be applauded for its efforts to meet a peaceful solution to a tragic past. The political responses in Australia and United States and Canada are simply incomparable. The failure to address the plight of the stolen generations of Australia and the United States evidences a major failing in Indian/Aboriginal policy in these two nations that needs to be addressed. Australia and the United States have much to learn from the reconciliatory policies of the Canadian government.

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