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A Canopy Forum Thematic Series March – April 2023

Produced through a partnership between Canopy Forum, the Indigenous Values Initiative (IVI), and Syracuse University, this series of essays brings together religion scholars, legal scholars, and Indigenous activists to explore the problematic legacy of Johnson v. M’Intosh (1823) and the 15th century Doctrine of (Christian) Discovery – a legal and religious rationale by which European powers claimed the right to discover and claim lands inhabited by non-Christian peoples. Focusing primarily on the 19th through the 21st centuries, these essays illustrate how Johnson and the Doctrine of Christian Discovery have global import to Turtle Island (especially the United States and Canada) and Aotearoa (New Zealand). 

Grounding this conversation in the Two Row Wampum method, the editors of this series have worked to include both Indigenous and non-Indigenous voices so we can journey side by side without violating the waters down the river of life. We recognize the urgency and need for more inclusion of indigenous voices to reaffirm our proper relationship with the natural world in the staid disciplines of religion, law, history, anthropology, and cultural studies. We hope this series inspires generative conversations around Johnson and the Doctrine of Christian Discovery.


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