Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery

Recently a group of Anabaptists have put together a phenomenal resource about the Doctrine of Discovery and its legacy with Anabaptists: http://dofdmenno.org/

The term “Doctrine of Discovery” refers to the “philosophical  and  legal  framework dating  to the 15th century that gave Christian governments moral and legal rights to invade and seize Indigenous lands and dominate Indigenous Peoples. The patterns of oppression that continue to dispossess Indigenous Peoples of their land today are found in numerous historical documents such as Papal Bulls, Royal Charters, and U.S. Supreme Court rulings as recently as 2005”.

This resource seeks to educate people about the legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery and its effects in our world today. We encourage you to examine the materials provided, and share the information with others in your church, school, workplace, etc. Understanding these issues is not an easy task, and it should be undertaken with intention and care. As Anabaptists, we seek justice in all aspects of our society, and is incumbent upon to us to pursue these issues which have sadly been often overlooked. The documentary and other resources here are framed for Mennonites, but can be used in a wide variety of Christian circles.

“The Doctrine of Discovery originated in the church, and it is now the church’s responsibility to undo it”.

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