Australia offers apology for treatment of Aborigines

Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd officially apologized on behalf of the government for its poor treatment of Aborigines.

Rudd apologized for forcibly taking thousands of Aboriginal children from their communities. The policy of forced assimilation ended in the 1970s.

"To the mothers and the fathers, the brothers and the sisters, for the breaking up of families and communities, we say sorry," the apology states [PDF]. "For the indignity and degradation thus inflicted on a proud people and a proud culture, we say sorry."

Rudd said he would work with Aboriginal communities to improve their standard of living. But he ruled out compensation for victims of the Stolen Generation.

Get the Story:
Australia: 'Sorry' to Aborigines (AP 1/13)
Australia Offers an Apology to Aborigines (The New York Times 2/13)

Related Stories
Australia to apologize for treatment of Aborigines (1/31)