The Stolen Generations is the name given to the Indigenous Australian children who the Australian government forcibly removed from their families between 1910 and 1970.
The forcible removal of Indigenous children from their families was a product of the Australian government's policy of assimilation, which sought to remove Indigenous children—particularly mixed-race children, who the government believed would more easily pass for white—from their parents and communities in an effort to assimilate the children into the hegemonic white-majority society.
The policy of assimilation assumed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures would disappear if the children's roots to their Indigenous identities were severed. The stolen children were instructed to reject their heritage, and were forbidden from speaking traditional languages and using their given names. Many of the children endured psychological, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of state authorities and their foster families.
Organizations were created in the 1980s to help survivors of the Stolen Generations find their families, and a two-year government inquiry resulted in a 1997 report called Bringing Them Home, which estimated that 10–33 percent of Indigenous Australian children were removed from their families between 1910 and 1970.
The child-removal and -assimilation policies contributed to the erasure of traditional cultures, creating trauma that continues to affect Indigenous Australians. The impact for the survivors of this abuse, as well as parents and descendants of the Stolen Generations, has been disproportionate rates of depression, PTSD, suicide, poverty, and poor health. The 1997 report included recommendations for reconciliation and reparations, although the recommendations have been criticized as an insufficient means of undoing the intergenerational trauma of the child-removal and -assimilation policies.