“My ancestors never told me the true history of my country” | EUROtoday

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JI’ve been a baby of the nation for 4 generations on my father's facet, and for a number of centuries by my mom, whose grandmother was a Kanak from Hienghène. Like many New Caledonians from this combine and the painful historical past of colonization, my household lived for a few years with the disgrace of its jail origins. This “dirty water tap”, because it was described on the time by the French administration.

In the land of the unstated, my ancestors by no means informed me its true story, most likely to neglect the explanations that led them right here and to construct legitimacy, primarily by work and forgetting. For a really very long time, it was hidden from us that we have been a part of this “dirty water tap”, whose protagonists didn’t keep in New Caledonia out of affection however out of obligation, as a result of they have been forbidden to return to their French households.

This hidden historical past is basically the explanation why, till the occasions of this month of May, I had not understood the complete extent and dimension of the struggling of the Kanak individuals from whom I solemnly ask forgiveness for my ignorance. I’m not ashamed of my ancestors, I don’t blame them, they undoubtedly had their causes, however they didn’t assist me perceive this nation and its individuals.

“Gunboat Policy”

What do New Caledonians not perceive concerning the independence demand? The “gunboat policy”, carried out after the takeover on September 24, 1853, led to the devastation of villages, the destruction of homes and fields, the bloodbath of populations, their confinement in lands wrongly known as “reserves”, from which they might solely go away to finish days of obligatory work, for which they have been paid a derisory wage permitting them to pay the ballot tax. Yes, what they’d earned by their work was taken again from them.

Also learn the decryption | New Caledonia: questions to know the disaster

In 1863, France determined to make New Caledonia a penal colony. Thus, round 30,000 convicts have been introduced there. More than 85% of them is not going to have the appropriate to return house to France. They will probably be launched on website.

Alongside this penitentiary core, we discover free settlers (a thousand in 1866, rather less than 10,000 thirty years later). This is the primary act of settlement colonization. The first impediment to the nice republican rules behind which the French State and its supporters proceed to cover at present, to hide the unique fact.

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