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Doctrine of Discovery

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In 1452, the Dum Diversas Bull, a papal bull (aka an edict), was issued by Pope Nicholas V, granting the blessing to "capture, vanquish and subdue the Saracens, pagans and DO A complete Genocide on all tribal people around the world of mother Earth, as he said on the enemies of Christ and put them into perpetual slavery and to take all their possessions and their property." Three years later, as a response to the discovery of new lands around the globe, he issued another papal bull, which gave Portugal the right to lay claim to the undiscovered lands of West Africa. This edict was further extended by Pope Alexander VI’s papal bull in 1493, the Inter Caetera, which was issued after Christopher Columbus laid claim to the Americas. The Inter Caetera stated that if explorers come upon undiscovered lands that were inhabited by Indigenous/Native/"barbaric" peoples, it was one’s civil duty as a European and Christian to civilize those peoples and to take their lands and possessions. All three of these papal bulls make up the Doctrine of Discovery. Why does it matter? Repercussions from the Doctrine of Discovery still negatively affect millions of Indigenous peoples. In nearly every case of western colonization, civilizing the Native peoples, often by force, has led to a decimation of native cultures and peoples. Even in the 21st century, the Doctrine of Discovery is still used to disenfranchise, displace, and ultimately devastate Indigenous peoples around the world. Effecting the Little Indian Creek Tribe Chickamauga Cherokee Indian Nation Inc. and all the other eleven tribes. And has cause very close to 122,000,000 million life’s sense 1492 in north America with regard to the United States, in 1823 the Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall cited the Doctrine of Discovery as a justification for colonists who had claimed Native American lands in Johnson v. M’Intosh. Chief Justice Marshall discussed the age of discovery as well as Christian expansion by saying that Native Americans “had no property rights but rather merely held a right of occupancy.” This became the legal and moral precedent in later legal decisions, leaving the Indigenous peoples no right to the land that they have responsibly stewarded for centuries. States and local governments continuously fall back on archaic federal policy as the basis for the unending denial of indigenous peoples rights to property, clearly seen in the Little Indian Creek Chickamauga Cherokee Indian Nation Inc. peoples fight to regain our home land at Little Indian Creek in Bullock County Alabama U.S.A..


The best solution today is to have Pope Francis revoke the Doctrine, with the notion that the document’s framework can no longer remain applicable in the modern age of science and reason. Pope Francis, through his action and his words thus far, has demonstrated that he feels compelled to work towards humanitarian causes throughout his time in the Vatican. As such, whereas previous popes have ignored these requests to revoke the Doctrine of Discovery, we believe and continue to hope that this first Jesuit Pope can and will change that pattern. Pope Francis has deviated from several former policies that others in his office have supported, and this is a natural step in the progression to acknowledge the rights of indigenous peoples across the world.

Our Petition Appeal to Pope Francis:

We respectfully ask you, Pope Francis, to revoke the Doctrine of Discovery, which vested moral and spiritual authority in Colonial powers to brutally and violently conquer Indigenous people and their lands and to comit Genocide.

Wado Nihi (Thank You)

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