the Indian tribes who have a right to those lands are quietly to enjoy them, hunting, planting and dwelling thereon so long as they please, without any molestation from the United States…
We understand Sherrill to hold that equitable doctrines, such as laches, acquiescence, and impossibility, can in appropriate circumstances, be applied to Indian land claims, **even when such a claim is legally viable and with in the statute of limitations
Academics, attorneys and religious leaders from as far away as Chile gathered at this site sacred to members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to discuss the Doctrine of Discovery.
Every America schoolboy knows that the savage tribes of this continent were deprived of their ancestral ranges by force and that, even when the Indians ceded millions of acres by treaty in return for blankets, food and trinkets, it was not a sale but the conquerors’ will that deprived them of their land
What is Indian title? It is a mere occupancy for the purpose of hunting. It is not like our tenures, they have no idea of a title to the soil itself. It is overrun by them, rather than inhabited
" I think it’s something that people don’t really understand," observes Betty Lyons, President and Director of the American Indian Law Alliance. " They go about their daily lives and they do things and they don’t understand why they’re doing them and how much the Doctrine has affected everyone everywhere."
The way Steven T. Newcomb describes the Doctrine of Discovery these days is ‘a claim of a right of Christian domination.’ It was first expressed by Pope Nicholas V in the 1452 papal bull Dum Diversas, which — along with subsequent bulls Romanus Pontifex and Inter Caetera — created a theological justification for Christian rulers seizing the property and possessions of non-Christians
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?
As bizarre as it may seem, today’s federal definitions of Indian title and Indian nationhood find their basis in the Old Testament covenant tradition. This tradition is premised on the idea of a “chosen people” who have a covenant (treaty) with their deity to take over and colonize certain lands that the deity promised them, in this case Indian lands.