4 March 1998: Amnesty International calls on the Australian government to formally issue a national apology for its policy of removing Aboriginal children from their homes.
22 May 1998: Australian police and law enforcement agencies make a formal apology to the Aborigines for their role in removing children from their homes in an attempt to assimilate them. There is still no formal national apology.
27 September 1998: Howard finally apologised to the Aboriginal community
about his speech last year to the National Reconciliation Conference, saying
that he would have done it differently if he had it over. "I reacted too
strongly to criticism (of the Wik Policy*)" he said. Still there is no
apology for the Stolen Generation. Pat Dodson, leading Aboriginal spokesperson,
dismissed Howard's apology as "too late."
*the Wik Native Title Act. Passed on July 8 against Labor Party opposition, Wik will result in decreasing the ability for Aboriginal Australians to make claims on ancestral lands. The Act was, it must be emphasised, created without any Aboriginal input.
29 November 1998: Howard promises to apologize to aborigines for the government's mistakes in the past and the present in a formal file. But he refuses to turn this file into a treaty.
10 December 1998: Prime Minister John Howard, in an address to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, admits that Australia has had problems upholding the human rights of its indigenous peoples.
26 August 1999: The Australian Parliament, led by Prime Minister John Howard, expresses its regret for removing Aboriginal children from their homes as part of its policy of assimilation. Howard, however, avoids using the words "sorry" or "apology" and does not offer compensation to "the Stolen Generation."
Howard's frustrating refusal to make a formal apology continues on.
and on and on.
Aborigines in Australia
About the Wik Bill