Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Social, Behavioral & Global Studies

First Advisor

Juan Jose Gutierrez


By situating the heart of Aboriginal culture in the ability to understand and speak Aboriginal languages, I intend to prove that language education policies have caused damage within Aboriginal communities. In order to find and record the damage done by these policies I will use Johan Galtung’s theory of structural violence, which states that large social structures create indirect sources of violence by withholding resources and power from certain groups. Specifically, I will start by providing a brief history of Aboriginal culture and their languages. Then I will analyze language policies, policy analysis, and my own experiences in order to explain: (1) the integral importance of Aboriginal languages: (2) some of the best and worst language policies in Australia: (3) the ways in which these policies have damaged Aboriginal communities. I will then draw on my experiences within an Aboriginal community, as well as my time doing service learning at a bilingual school in Seaside.