Basic Call to Consciousness copies are available in English and Spanish.
The first Christian people to locate lands inhabited by non-Christians (‘infidels, heathens, and savages’) claimed the right to assert a right of domination to be in themselves. On the basis of this religiously premised argument, the U.S. Supreme Court has defined the land title of the Indian nations as a ‘mere right of occupancy’ subject to a right of domination on the part of the United States.
Resources from the ‘United States Indian Law Panel’ at the Taking on the Doctrine of Discovery, What are our Next Steps?
Replacing the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People
Films on the Doctrine of Discovery
The Doctrine of Discovery has had profoundly negative impacts on Indigenous Peoples for the last 500+ years. Governments and various organizations have used the Doctrine of Discovery to justify the taking lands, the extermination of people and cultures, and the breaking of agreements and treaties. Since 2007 we have been reading, discussing and educating ourselves ourselves about Indigenous Peoples’ history, worldviews, and struggles.
With the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the General Assembly of the United Nations, we finally took our place at the table of humanity in 2007.
The purpose of this paper is to review the history of the use of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery in United States Supreme Court decisions since 1823. It is hopes that the historical perspective in this paper will be of assistance to readers and help them gain a better understanding as to how fundamental the Doctrine of Discovery is to all United State Indian law, particularly with regards to land rights