On February 13, 2008, the prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, apologized to indigenous Australians for the “Stolen Generations.” From 1869 to 1969, children of indigenous people in Australia were often forcibly removed from their families. This was done by the government and church missions across the country. The acts were justified at the time as protective measures to care for neglected or abused children. The practice has been criticized, however, for its racially motivated nature.
 
At least 100,000 children were removed from their homes and placed in state- or church-run orphanages. They were not allowed to speak their native languages or participate in their cultural customs. Though the practice ended in the mid-1900s, the effects of breaking apart families continues to haunt Aboriginal Australian societies.
Aboriginal Australian
Noun

people and culture native to Australia and its surrounding islands. Also called Aborigine.

custom
Noun

a way of doing things that has been handed down from one generation to the next.

government
Noun

system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

Adjective

characteristic to or of a specific place.

language
Noun

set of sounds, gestures, or symbols that allows people to communicate.

neglect
Noun

failure to pay attention.

orphan
Noun

child with no parents.

prime minister
Noun

leader of government in parliamentary systems of government.

Stolen Generations
Noun

(1869-1969) Aboriginal Australian children taken from their families and raised under European supervision in group homes.