The Doctrine of Discovery Working Bibliography

Listed by Author

d’Errico, Peter. “Replacing the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
_____. “Indigenous Lèse-majesté: Questioning U.S. Federal Indian Law” (Download as PDF).
_____. “Seeing through the chimera of U.S. federal Indian ‘trust’ law.” (Download as PDF).

Gonnella Frichner, Tonya. “Preliminary study of the impact on indigenous peoples of the international legal construct known as the Doctrine of Discovery,” UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Ninth session, New York, 19-30 April 2010. (Download as PDF).

Heath, Joseph J. The Doctrine of Christian Discovery: Its Fundamental Importance in United States Indian Law and the Need for its Repudiation and Removal. 10 Alb. Govt. L. Rev. 112 (2017)  (Download as a PDF).
_____. A Brief History of Haudenosaunee Treaty Making and The Obligations of the United States to Protect Haudenosaunee Lands and to Not Disturb the Free Use and Enjoyment Thereof. (Download as PDF).
_____. The Citizenship Act of 1924 was an Integral Pillar of The Colonization and Forced Assimilation Policies of the United States in Violation of Treaties. (Download as PDF).
_____. Nations Are Sovereign; They Are Not “Tribes.” (Download as PDF).
_____. Statement on the Historical Use of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery by the United States Supreme Court Since 1823. (Download as PDF).

Hauptman, Laurence M. Conspiracy of Interests, Iroquois Dispossession and the Rise of New York State. Laurence M. Hauptman, professor of history at the State University of New York at New Paltz. A study of the three interlocking forces -transportation, land and national defense- shows its impact on Iroqoia.

Mander, Jerry (ed.). Paradigm Wars, Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance to Globalization, Edited by Jerry Mander, founder of the International Forum on Globalization, and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Igorat leader from the Philippines, director of Tebtebba Foundation and chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Firsthand reports tell of the momentous collision of worldviews collide with the Earth’s indigenous peoples.

Miller, Robert J. Native America, Discovered and Conquered, Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark and Manifest DestinyRobert J. Miller, (Eastern Shawnee), associate professor at the Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Professor Miller traces the concept of the Doctrine of Discovery and Manifest Destiny and their foundation in justifying the exploration and settlement of the United States.

Nelson, Melissa K. Original Instructions, Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future, Edited by Melissa K. Nelson, professor of American Indian studies at San Francisco State University. Beautiful, wise voices gathered at the Bioneers conference share stories safeguarded by Indigenous cultures remind us about gratitude, kinship and reverence for community and creation.

Newcomb, Steven T. Pagans in the Promise Land, Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (Fulcrum Publishing 2008), Steven T. Newcomb, (Shawnee/Lanape), cofounder and codirector of the Indigenous Law Institute, fellow with the American Indian Policy and Media Initiative of Buffalo State College and columnist with the newspaper Indian Country Today. A startling challenge to federal Indian law and policy using history and cognitive theory to challenge the separation of church and state.

_______. Evidence of Christian Nationalism In Federal Indian Law: The Doctrine of Discovery, Johnson v. McIntosh, and Plenary Power” in NYU Review of Law and Social Change (volume 20, issue 2), 1992. (Download as PDF).

_______. The Biblical Basis of Federal Indian Law & Policy.

Stogre, Michael. That the World May Believe, The Development of Papal Social Thought on Aboriginal RightsMichael Stogre, Jesuit priest and medical doctor engaged in native ministry. The Church’s mission to evangelize and the human rights of the receiver are traced through seven centuries of papal teaching.

Williams, Robert A. Jr. The American Indian in Western Legal Thought: The Discourses of Conquest (OUP 1992).

Multiple Authors

Basic Call to Consciousness, edited by Akwesane Notes. Position papers delivered to the Non-Governmental Organization of the United Nations in Geneva in 1977 describe oppression of Native peoples in the US.

Roots of the Iroquois, Tehanetorens, various native authors, traces the origins of the Confederacy and its growth and attempts to destroy it.

Story Earth, Native Voices on the Environment, Compiled by Inter Press Service. This book draws a clear distinction between cultures and how the environment is viewed.


To purchase a copy of the Basic Call to Consciousness in English or Spanish contact Indigenous Values Initiative at