What is the Doctrine of Discovery?

Robert Miller on origins 

Professor Miller discusses the history of the Doctrine and how various legal structures and religious declarations have been used throughout colonial history to legitimize the practice of Conquest and Domination.

Steve Newcomb on religious and legal repercussions

Newcomb explores the legal implications of the Doctrine of Discovery. He charts the Doctrine from its origins in religious law through the centuries to its impact on current human rights law and current struggles for sovereignty.

Arizona Forum: full video

Various scholars and community leaders discuss the Doctrine in this full-length recording of the Open Forum on Impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery.

UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

In 2007, the United Nations passed this historic Declaration. It serves as a non-binding agreement between signatory States codifying the rights for Indigenous Peoples within their nation. 

Book: Pagans in the Promised Land by Steve Newcomb

An important text that gives an overarching history of the doctrine and its religious underpinnings. 

The State of Native America ed. M. Annette Jaimes

This groundbreaking anthology gives a sweeping overview of many issues confronting Native American communities including treaty rights, environmental degradation, and cultural appropriation. 

Video: Arizona Forum on Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery

UNPFIP Network

A site dedicated to continuing the discussions originating from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Contains the full text of the landmark "United Nations Preliminary Study on the Doctrine of Discovery."

500 Years of Injustice

This site has a detailed history of the Doctrine, specifically discussing its religious and legal implications. A good supplement to Steve Newcomb's talk above. 

Doctrine of Discovery.org

This website offers a brief history of the Doctrine, as well as access to a study group that meets regularly to discuss the subject. 

Websites and Blogs

Books and Articles

Conference Report: Doctrine of Discovery Seminar

A report of the proceedings from last year's Seminar on the Doctrine of Discovery held at Thompson Rivers University. 

Related Events

Indigenous Peoples, Truth and Reconciliation Symposium

Video recordings of the panels at the symposium held at U Mass Amherst on October 2. 2012.



International Conference

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