Call to Action #47

47. We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 9.20.45 PMgovernments to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous peoples and lands, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius, and to reform those laws, government policies, and litigation strategies that continue to rely on such concepts.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to renounce and discredit legal doctrines and concepts that reinforce European sovereignty over indigenous peoples and lands. Doctrines like the Doctrine of Discovery are rooted in colonial concepts like terra nullius, which claimed sovereignty over aboriginal lands. Canada’s Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples also has recommended that the government recognize the Doctrine of Discovery to be “legally, morally and factually wrong.” Will denouncing these terms help end the era of neo-colonialism and segregation?


Further reading:

Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, The Justice System and Aboriginal People, The Aboriginal justice Implementation Commission.
Aboriginal Rights, Indigenous Foundations, UBC.
Doctrine of Discovery, Digital Wampum.


Compiled by: Samuel Bigelow

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