Historical photographs of Australian Aboriginal people were amassed during the colonial period for a range of purposes, yet rarely to further an Indigenous agenda. Today, however, such images have been recontextualized, used to reconstruct family history, document culture, and express connections to place. They have become a significant heritage resource for relatives and descendants. Images stand in for relatives lost through processes of official assimilation—or as this sad history is now known in Australia, the Stolen Generations. This article explores the potential healing power of the photos in addressing loss and dislocation, and emerging tools for supporting this process through reviewing the Returning Photos project outcomes.

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