Who are the Aborigines?

The aborigines are the native peoples of Australia. Before the British began its colonization of Australia in the late 1700’s, the aboriginal population was estimated at between 300,000 to a million people. Comprised of hundreds of tribes, aborigines lived across the continent in small, local clans. Smallpox, which accompanied the arrival of the British, wiped out a huge percentage of the aboriginal people. The Brits refused to acknowledge aboriginal rights to land or society; since that time the aborigines have struggled for continued survival.