Thursday, 17 December 2009

Quaker Indian Committee disavows Doctrine of Discovery

#Quaker Committee disavows Doctrine of Discovery papal bulls basis for
theft of #Indian #aboriginal #Indigenous land


The committee "renounces the Doctrine of Discovery, the doctrine at the
foundation of the colonization of Indigenous lands, including the lands of
Pennsylvania. We find this doctrine to be fundamentally inconsistent with
the teaching of Jesus, with our understanding of the inherent rights that
individuals and peoples have received from God, and inconsistent with
Quaker testimonies of Peace, Equality, and Integrity," the Minute reads.

The Doctrine of Discovery was a principle of international law developed
in a series of 15th century papal bulls and 16th century charters by
European monarchs. It was a racist philosophy that gave white Christian
Europeans the green light to go forth and claim the lands and resources of
non-Christian peoples and kill or enslave them – if other Christian
Europeans had not already done so.

The doctrine institutionalized the competition between European countries
in their ever-expanding quest for colonies, resources and markets, and
sanctioned the genocide of indigenous people in the "New World" and

As a spiritual corollary of the renunciation, the Indian Committee also
expressed its support for the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples, which was adopted by the General Assembly Sept. 13, 2007. The
Declaration presents indigenous rights within a framework of human rights.

Only the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia – countries with large
populations of indigenous peoples with huge aboriginal land claims – voted
against the Declaration's adoption. Australia has since adopted it.

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