Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on the Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery
I urge you to learn more about the Doctrine of Discovery and the search for healing in our native communities.
But this is also a matter for healing in communities and persons of European immigrant descent. Colonists, settlers, and homesteaders benefited enormously from the availability of “free” land, and their descendants continue to benefit to this day. That land was taken by force or subterfuge from peoples who had dwelt on it from time immemorial – it was their “promised land.” The nations from which the settlers came, and the new nations which resulted in the Americas, sought to impose another culture and way of life on the peoples they encountered. Attempting to remake the land and peoples they found “in their own image” was a profound act of idolatry.
Repentance and amendment of life are the answer, and God asks us all – this Church, our partners and neighbors, and the nations which were founded under the Doctrine of Discovery – to the challenging work of reconciliation.
The abundant life we know in Jesus Christ is made possible through sacrifice – through repairing what is broken, and finding holiness and healing in the midst of that challenging work. That work is often costly, but it is the only road to abundant life.
The Doctrine of Discovery: The International Law of Colonialism, conference room paper from the 11th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
Conference Room Paper on the Doctrine of Discovery, presented by the Haudenosaunee, the American Indian Law Alliance and the Indigenous Law Institute, North America, at the 11th Session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues