Sunday, April 10, 2011

Silver Linings

Hello. You. There.

I didn't really know where to go after my last blog. What do I blog about if I don't blog about myself? Well, that may be the point. Perhaps for a while I'll focus less on me and rules here and there and more on everything else in between.

I have no revelational thoughts. Just something I learned in my Aboriginal Studies class last week! So here's a little history lesson for you...

Basically, Australia's beginnings weren't the most innocent. Go figure, right? The English colonized the place with convicts and ex-convicts. When they got here, they found the Aborigine people. The Europeans wanted the land plus they had guns (all happening around 1770), the Aborigines had the land and no guns, so I'm sure you can guess who won. The settlers saw the people as an eye sore and thought it would be better to just get rid of them all, so they set up this fancy board of people to "protect them." This meant that they would move them all to reservations, take away all their belongings, break apart their families, and force them to act as European as possible. They weren't allowed to do traditional things, tell their stories, dance, or even speak their language. Their every move was watched, because the settlers thought they would die out. I read a quote that said they were "smoothing the pillow of a dying race." Sad stuff!

When they weren't dying off, they took the lighter skinned people and married them off to out breed them, and they took at least one child from every family to send them to schools to teach them to be slaves. It's called the stolen generations. And people were taking their kids, legally, until 1969 when it was outlawed, but it still happened long after! That was only 42 years ago!

Ok, so among the research I did, I found out that part of the legislation set (Aboriginal Protection Act 1909), said that the board distributed things like blankets and clothes. The people weren't even allowed to own things as simple as a blanket or something to wear! It says that it all belonged to the board. So I was really upset about all this, but then in my tutorial class, I learned something really incredible.

Because none of the things distributed belonged to the people, the managers of the camps kept blanket lists, to ensure they were all returned. It was the only record keeping they had of the people. And now, years later, people who were taken from the camps used these lists in order to find their families, and find out about where they came from.

I just love that God works in the most mysterious ways. Honestly, if the blankets were just blindly distributed (granted, like they should have been), there wouldn't have been lists. And years later, these people would be left to wonder where they came from and about their family! It takes a special kind of plan to make things work out like that, right? I think it's a special kind of beautiful.

Other updates? I finally went to the training day to start volunteering! I signed up to work a Moms and Kids weekend camp over Mothers day weekend. I'm really excited since I can't spend Mother's day with my own mom. I can't wait to tell you all about it!

I love you. That's all I have to say. I hope you enjoyed the short history lesson I offered.

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