Page:Australian aborigines 1838.djvu/7

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Lord Glenelg to
Sir George Gipps,
3 January 1838.

tection and civilization of the native tribes so imperative, that I am convinced no further argument is necessary to induce a cheerful co-operation on their part in the measure now adopted. If the aboriginal establishment at Flinders' Island should be broken up, and transferred to New South Wales, some portion of the expenditure might reasonably be defrayed from the revenues of Van Diemen's Land.

It remains for me to explain my general view of the duties which will devolve on the protectors, and to refer to the points which will form the ground of instructions which you will issue to them.

1. Each protector should attach himself as closely and constantly as possible to the aboriginal tribes who may be found in the district for which he may be appointed; attending them if practicable in their movements from one place to another, until they can be induced to assume more settled habits of life, and endeavour to conciliate their respect and confidence, and to make them feel that he is their friend.

2. He must watch over the rights and interests of the natives, protect them, as far as he can by his personal exertions and influence, from any encroachments on their property, and from acts of cruelty, oppression, or injustice, and faithfully represent their wants, wishes, or grievances, if such representations be found necessary, through the chief protector, to the government of the colony. For this purpose it will be desirable to invest each protector with a commission as magistrate.

3. If the natives can be induced in any considerable numbers to locate themselves in a particular place, it will be the object of the protector to teach and encourage them to engage in the cultivation of their grounds, in building suitable habitations for themselves, and in whatever else may conduce to their civilization and social improvement.

4. The education and instruction of the children, as early and as extensively as it may be practicable, is to be regarded as a matter of primary importance.

5. In connexion with the engagements, and as affording the most efficient means for the ultimate accomplishment of them, the assistant protector should promote, to the utmost extent of his ability and opportunities, the moral and religious improvement of the natives, by instructing them in the elements of the Christian religion, and preparing them for the reception of teachers, whose peculiar province it would be to promote the knowledge and practice of Christianity among them.

6. In reference to every object contemplated by the proposed appointment, it is exceedingly desirable that the protector should, as soon as possible, learn the language of the natives, so as to be able freely and familiarly to converse with them.

7. He must take charge of, and be accountable for, any provisions or clothing which may be placed under his care for distribution to the natives.

8. He will obtain as accurate information as may be practicable of the number of the natives within his district, and of all important particulars in regard to them.

These appear to me the principal points which demand attention in reference to this subject.

But it is of course not my intention to restrict you, in the instructions which you will have to issue to the protectors, within the topics on which I have touched, as your local knowledge and experience will doubtless enable yon to supply omissions in the outline which I have given.

I have, &c.