From Homeland to Bomb Site

ABORIGINALS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2 – Relocationmusic of the Pintobee peopleCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here’s a program from our archives.For thousands of years, Australia has been the home of aboriginal peoples. In some of the remote desert areas, contact with whites wasn’t established until around forty years ago, but it brought radical changes. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.We’re listening to a song of the Pintobee people. Fred Myers, an Associate Professor of Anthropology at NYU, lived with the Pintobee in the western desert area of Australia.Myers: There were still quite a number of aboriginal people living in the western desert in the 1950’s, but the Australian government presumed that there really was no future for them and that there were very few people really left out there. And so they created an atomic bomb testing site at Maralinga which had disastrous consequences. And a rocket range was planned for the western desert itself and in order to facilitate this testing range and also to help lead towards development of the desert itself, a dirt road system was put through which made contact with the last remaining Pintobee in the desert possible. And which resulted in their leaving the desert. The government didn’t have a policy of forcible removal of these people, but they presumed that in any case the only future for aboriginal people in Australia was one of assimilation with whites. And that they needed to be instructed in order to take up their role in the predominately white society. And so aboriginal people from the desert were relocated on settlements at which it was imagined that they would learn to take on the skills appropriate to their participation in the white Australian society. And the policy was complete failure.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

From Homeland to Bomb Site

The Pintobee people of Western Australia were forcibly removed from their ancestral land to create an atomic bomb test site. This archival program is part of our 30th anniversary celebration.
Air Date:07/23/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

ABORIGINALS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2 - Relocationmusic of the Pintobee peopleCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here's a program from our archives.For thousands of years, Australia has been the home of aboriginal peoples. In some of the remote desert areas, contact with whites wasn't established until around forty years ago, but it brought radical changes. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.We're listening to a song of the Pintobee people. Fred Myers, an Associate Professor of Anthropology at NYU, lived with the Pintobee in the western desert area of Australia.Myers: There were still quite a number of aboriginal people living in the western desert in the 1950's, but the Australian government presumed that there really was no future for them and that there were very few people really left out there. And so they created an atomic bomb testing site at Maralinga which had disastrous consequences. And a rocket range was planned for the western desert itself and in order to facilitate this testing range and also to help lead towards development of the desert itself, a dirt road system was put through which made contact with the last remaining Pintobee in the desert possible. And which resulted in their leaving the desert. The government didn't have a policy of forcible removal of these people, but they presumed that in any case the only future for aboriginal people in Australia was one of assimilation with whites. And that they needed to be instructed in order to take up their role in the predominately white society. And so aboriginal people from the desert were relocated on settlements at which it was imagined that they would learn to take on the skills appropriate to their participation in the white Australian society. And the policy was complete failure.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.