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Mistake Creek MassacrePrint Page Print this page

Memorial at the aboriginal massacre site at Mistake Creek near the Warmun Community.

The Sisters of St Joseph, who have selflessly served the indigenous peoples of the East Kimberley for many years,  erected a small monument at the foot of the old boab tree at Mistake Creek to mark the place where the killings occurred. There, on All Souls Day each year, representatives of the Kija gather in prayer and fellowship with non-indigenous fellow Australians, to mourn those who were killed. 

In 1915 Seven Kija people were alleged to have been killed by men under the control of a Constable Rhatigan, at Mistake Creek, East Kimberley. The massacre is supposed to be in reprisal for allegedly killing Rhatigan's cow, however the cow is claimed to have been found alive after the massacre had already taken place. Rhatigan was arrested for wilful murder apparently due to the fact that the killers were riding horses which belonged to him, but the charges were dropped, for lack of evidence that he was personally involved.

The historian Keith Windschuttle disputes the version put forward by former Governor-General of Australia, William Deane, in November 2002. Windschuttle found the massacre took place on March 30, 1915, not in the 1930s, and was not a reprisal attack by whites over a cow, but "an internal feud between Aboriginal station hands" over a woman. "No Europeans were responsible." However, members of the Gija tribe, from the Warmun (Turkey Creek) community have depicted the massacre in their artworks.

 

Location

Address:Mistake Creek , Warmun, 6743
State:WA
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -16.960833
Long: 128.192778
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:Indigenous
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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