Update 11. May 2022: US gov’t: At least 53 burial sites at Indigenous boarding schools

ICYMI: Native American women are facing an epidemic of violence + Canada: Ditching the Papal Bull(shit) and sovereignty

The genocide of the REAL Americans started in 1492

- dateless, timeless and NEVER to be forgotten ...

For all of you that want to talk about illegals and immigration, remember this isn't your nation, so Europe and Rome is in the roots of many of You. 

Michael Jackson said the history they teach the kids is wrong and any fool that said he was evil or a child molester never heard the Earth Song. My friend, I still dream that dream and vision that place we all Belong.

To hell with your Columbus day, death to the Papal Bull shit that hinders the growth of mankind and stands in the way, none of you demonic chimeras are my father and I sure don't need to go through any of you to pray so you can make faith pay when only loving the creator and searching for the light is how to pay the Due

You want to make a disease and then kill the medicine man so you can save the healing herbs and cures for a chosen Few.

Hidden secrets, hiding miracles and teachings rendering the knowledge worthless but the creator warned that is exactly what you would Do.

Created in your colleges were Aids, the plague, black death and the common cold or Flu, Papal Bulls, the Inquisitions, more crusaders killing babies and women with blades death is nothing New.

Crack cocaine, pills and meth on the brain, alcohol filled with demonic spirits that control the brain, forced food that leaves the bodies malnourished and in pain, water you pollute, death you turned into a cycle no one will refute, little girls and boys your roman priests want to Screw...

Screw your system of things and all the ones that scouted our people and ran them down to put them on a slave Ship.

Malcolm X taught me the difference between a house nigga and a field nigga but your nation of islam killed him so he missed the Trip.

Black puppets in the white house and tv dropping bombs on african countries like Libya stealing from the poor, hopeless and needy because that house nigga works for the slave master yeah the greedy but you think by placing a black man there you kept the proper Grip.

The Obama Nation of Desolation is just like Osama Bin Laden a product of the Bushes and the CIA and every resident of the house that houses the so called president is related to King John but how easy a color or a mans face leaves the thoughts to Slip, Magna Carta, Jay Z, the Constitution, you freemasons are crazy with your A.I.M, you get lazy when you keep the title Grand Governing Council like the KKK, too many are lost just blinded by this world not even searching for the truth or the way if they knew the truth about you we both know they'd Flip...

They'd flip on you fast if they knew the truth about this nation and the plans for the next Genocide. Once the Patriots Act and kill the muslims the gun is pointed at you when the predator drones Ride. 

Artificial intelligence already runs your world and that smartphone lets them all Inside. 

The United Nations was their New World Order, the Rothschilds and Rockefellers own every border, the Church of Rome keeps the faith in the order, London hides the money for the Hoarder, founding murders of the true brave on your bills and change like the quarter but many know nothing about history or have a sense of Pride. 

You give thanks to the killers of one group of men that turned you into a cash slave, you send your kids to murder other kids and take their land and then have the nerve to call them brave, you listen to the killers of the saints and prophets then act like souls they want to save, house niggas all over the tv, radio and in person just trying to get the field niggas to behave, no matter how many times they were exposed and you saw they Lied...

Lady liberty was a hypocrite I saw no trace of humanity because they lied about it All.

This nation was founded by the Hell Fire club of satan, the freemason and it was designed to rise and Fall.

Johnny Cash said I'll tell you one thing buster I ain't no fan of Custer and Crazy Horse sent out the Call. 

This is the 7th generation and we are ready for war, the rich versus the poor, the ones that bring the light once more is about to drop the Ball.

Nah I'm not trying to Sue,

label yourself a Sioux, the Lakota are legendary because of the spirit and how that big bear can make your whole world Stall.

My friend Roy at the dump said boy you are a little nigga, a little white boy and a little Jew, its hard to catch you with a lie and its hard getting money from you, if you see a good deal you want it at a steal, you are always real and when I talk to you that passion I feel, you got that hustlers ambition and you got a lot of skill but watch how you post up against that Wall. 

Man I just love to barter and trade, its so fun teaching someone how to use coupons to steal from the rich like sending warriors on a raid, i dont even do this to get paid, I just like finding a good deal on a gun, knife or blade, I miss the old days and how we treated each other, those kinda teachings should have stayed and we should have told our kids no matter what you will survive and walk Tall...

===

Michael Jackson - Earth Song (Official Video)

Michael Jackson Earth Song Lyrics

"Earth Song"
 

What about sunrise?
What about rain?
What about all the things
That you said we were to gain?

What about killing fields?
Is there a time?
What about all the things
That you said was yours and mine?

Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we've shed before?
Did you ever stop to notice
This crying Earth, this weeping shore?

Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh

What have we done to the world?
Look what we've done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son?

What about flowering fields?
Is there a time?
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine?

Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war?
Did you ever stop to notice
This crying Earth, this weeping shore?

Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh

I used to dream
I used to glance beyond the stars
Now I don't know where we are
Although I know we've drifted far

Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh

Hey, what about yesterday?
(What about us?)
What about the seas?
(What about us?)
Heavens are falling down
(What about us?)
I can't even breathe
(What about us?)

What about apathy?
(What about us?)
I need you
(What about us?)
What about nature's worth?
(Ooh, ooh)
It's our planet's womb
(What about us?)

What about animals?
(What about it?)
Turned kingdoms to dust?
(What about us?)
What about elephants?
(What about us?)
Have we lost their trust?
(What about us?)

What about crying whales
(What about us?)
Ravaging the seas?
(What about us?)
What about forest trails
(Ooh, ooh)
Burnt despite our pleas?
(What about us?)

What about the holy land
(What about it?)
Torn apart by creed?
(What about us?)
What about the common man?
(What about us?)
Can't we set him free?
(What about us?)

What about children dying?
(What about us?)
Can't you hear them cry?
(What about us?)
Where did we go wrong?
(Ooh, ooh)
Someone tell me why
(What about us?)

What about baby boy?
(What about it?)
What about the days?
(What about us?)
What about all their joy?
(What about us?)
What about the man?
(What about us?)

What about the crying man?
(What about us?)
What about Abraham?
(What about us?)
What about death again?
(Ooh, ooh)
Do we give a damn!

Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh
Aaaaaaaaah Oooooooooh

---

Writer(s): Jackson Michael Joe 

Michael Jackson explained the main inspiration for this song by saying, "I remember writing 'Earth Song' when I was in Austria, in a hotel. And I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the Planet Earth. And for me, this is Earth's Song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man's mismanagement of the Earth."

After previous socially-conscious Michael Jackson's songs such as "We Are the World", "Man in the Mirror" and "Heal the World", "Earth Song" was the first that dealt with the environment and animal welfare.

Andrae Crouch's Choir was featured on this song when they and Michael Jackson chant the anthemic call-and-response finale.

The music video for this track was filmed in four geographic regions (Americas, Europe and Africa): the first location was the Amazon Rainforest; the second scene was a war zone in Karlovac, Croatia; the third location was Tanzania; the final location was in Warwick, New York.

"Earth Song" is Michael Jackson's biggest hit in the UK. It was the nation's number-one Christmas single in 1995.

This was the last song ever performed by Michael Jackson because he died on the 25th of June 2009, just hours after rehearsing it in preparation for the This Is It tour.

===

If you want to send it on as the original rap meme, here it is:

Memes, 🤖, and Hidden: AMERICANHOLOCAUST
 ONE HUNDRED MILLION
 NATIVE AMERICANS KILLED
1492
Like: https://www.facebook.com/powerofspokenword

The genocide of the REAL Americans started in 1492,
For all of you that want to talk about illegals and immigration, remember this isnt your nation, so Europe and Rome is in the roots of many of You,
Michael Jackson said the history they teach the kids is wrong, any fool that said he was evil or a child molester never heard the Earth Song, my friend I still dream that dream and vision that place we all belong, thanks for leaving the links to follow with a video and a song making it so easy to pickup the Clue,
To hell with your Columbus day, death to the Papal Bull shit that hinders the growth of mankind and stands in the way, none of you demonic bastards are my father and I sure dont need to go through any of you to pray so you can make faith pay when only loving the creator and searching for the light is how to pay the Due,
You want to make a disease and then kill the medicine man so you can save the healing herbs and cures for a chosen Few,
Hidden secrets, hiding miracles and teachings rendering the knowledge worthless but the creator warned that is exactly what you would Do,
Created in your colleges were Aids, the plague, black death and the common cold or Flu,
Papal Bulls, the Inquisitions, more crusaders killing babies and women with blades death is nothing New,
Crack cocaine, pills and meth on the brain, alcohol filled with demonic spirits that control the brain, forced food that leaves the bodies malnourished and in pain, water you pollute, death you turned into a cycle no one will refute, little girls and boys your roman priests want to Screw...

Screw your system of things and all the ones that scouted our people and ran them down to put them on a slave Ship,
Malcolm X taught me the difference between a house nigga and a field nigga but your nation of islam killed him so he missed the Trip,
Black puppets in the white house and tv dropping bombs on african countries like Libya stealing from the poor, hopeless and needy because that house nigga works for the slave master yeah the greedy but you think by placing a black man there you kept the proper Grip,
The Obama Nation of Desolation is just like Osama Bin Laden a product of the Bushes and the CIA and every resident of the house that houses the so called president is related to King John but how easy a color or a mans face leaves the thoughts to Slip,
Magna Carta, Jay Z, the Constitution, you freemasons are crazy with your A.I.M, you get lazy when you keep the title Grand Governing Council like the KKK, too many are lost just blinded by this world not even searching for the truth or the way if they knew the truth about you we both know they'd Flip...

They'd flip on you fast if they knew the truth about this nation and the plans for the next Genocide,
Once the Patriots Act and kill the muslims the gun is pointed at you when the predator drones Ride,
Artificial intelligence already runs your world and that smartphone lets them all Inside,
The United Nations was their New World Order, the Rothschilds and Rockefellers own every border, the Church of Rome keeps the faith in the order, London hides the money for the Hoarder, founding murders of the true brave on your bills and change like the quarter but many know nothing about history or have a sense of Pride,
You give thanks to the killers of one group of men that turned you into a cash slave, you send your kids to murder other kids and take their land and then have the nerve to call them brave, you listen to the killers of the saints and prophets then act like souls they want to save, house niggas all over the tv, radio and in person just trying to get the field niggas to behave, no matter how many times they were exposed and you saw they Lied...

Lady liberty was a hypocrite I saw no trace of humanity because they lied about it All,
This nation was founded by the Hell Fire club of satan, the freemason and it was designed to rise and Fall,
Johnny Cash said Ill tell you one thing buster I aint no fan of Custer and Crazy Horse sent out the Call,
This is the 7th generation and we are ready for war, the rich versus the poor, the ones that bring the light once more is about to drop the Ball,
Nah Im not trying to Sue, label yourself a Sioux, the Lakota are legendary because of the spirit and how that big bear can make your whole world Stall,
My friend Roy at the dump said boy you are a little nigga, a little white boy and a little Jew, its hard to catch you with a lie and its hard getting money from you, if you see a good deal you want it at a steal, you are always real and when I talk to you that passion I feel, you got that hustlers ambition and you got a lot of skill but watch how you post up against that Wall,
Man I just love to barter and trade, its so fun teaching someone how to use coupons to steal from the rich like sending warriors on a raid, i dont even do this to get paid, I just like finding a good deal on a gun, knife or blade, I miss the old days and how we treated each other, those kinda teachings should have stayed and we should have told our kids no matter what you will survive and walk Tall...

1492 Like: https://www.facebook.com/powerofspokenword 

===

List of papal bulls - Wikipedia

The Roman-Catholic Church was the origin and still is at the core of colonialism - only rivalled later by the Anglican Church and today by the attempts of the WEF and UN to achieve global governance and neo-slavery to which the now criminal Pope Francis, the controversial Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio, already gave his blessings. His blessings, however, are surely not the blessings of the Creator and Great Spirit.

===

UPDATES:

US gov’t: At least 53 burial sites at Indigenous boarding schools

Boarding schools were part of a policy to sever cultural traditions and take land from Indigenous people, government report finds

By Hilary Beaumont - 11. May 2022

Red painted handprints cover the empty spot at a park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where a historical marker for the Indigenous children who died while attending a boarding school nearby was removed [File: Susan Montoya Bryan/AP Photo]

Los Angeles, California –  A US government investigation has found at least 53 separate burial sites at federal Native American boarding schools, and officials expect to find more, according to a new report released Wednesday.

The initial findings of the investigation, which examined records under federal control, show that hundreds of children died in boarding school, but officials say the number is likely to climb into the thousands or tens of thousands as the investigation continues.

The 106-page report is the first volume of the continuing Federal Indian Boarding Schools Initiative, ordered by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in June 2021 after she heard the news that Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation had confirmed 215 children’s graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia.

The United States intentionally forced Indigenous families to send their children to school as part of an assimilation system that reached every corner of the country, according to the report. It found the boarding school system was “expansive”, consisting of 408 “federal Indian boarding schools” across 37 states and territories, including 21 schools in Alaska and seven schools in Hawaii.

The creation of this system was part of a broader policy to take land from Indigenous people to allow for the expansion of the US, the report found. In it, the government acknowledges its assimilation policy caused loss of life, physical and mental health, territories and wealth, tribal and family relations, and Indigenous languages, as well as the erosion of religious and cultural practices.

“When my maternal grandparents were only eight years old, they were stolen from their parents’ culture and communities, and forced to live in boarding schools until the age of 13,” Haaland told reporters Wednesday. “Many children like them never made it back to their homes.”

She said Indigenous staff worked through their own trauma and pain to complete the report. “This is not new to us,” she said, gesturing toward other Indigenous people who attended and spoke at the press conference.

What the report found

The policy dates back to 1819, when Congress passed the Civilization Fund Act to financially support religious organisations that ran schools to assimilate Indigenous children.

After that, the federal government “induced or compelled” generations of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian children to attend boarding schools. Beginning in 1871, Congress passed laws ordering parents to send their children to school, and authorised the Interior Secretary to withhold rations to those who refused.

Families hid their children, and officials sent police to seize them, the report said. More than 150 treaties, which were often signed under duress, included requirements that communities send their children to school.

From its earliest days, the US’s official objective was to sever cultural and economic ties of Indigenous people to their land. “The assimilation of Indian children through the Federal Indian boarding school system was intentional and part of that broader goal of Indian territorial dispossession for the expansion of the United States,” the report confirmed.

The US used a twin policy of land dispossession and school systems to separate Indigenous people from their land and culture. This was the cheapest and safest way to take Indigenous land for the benefit of white people, the report states, citing the 1969 Kennedy Report.

The policy extended beyond boarding schools to include at least 1,000 other federal and non-federal institutions, including American Indian day schools, sanitariums, asylums, orphanages, and stand-alone dormitories that also aimed to educate Indigenous people.

Boarding schools were supported by both federal money and funds obtained from tribal trust accounts maintained by the US for the benefit of Indigenous people, the report said.

The intentional removal of Indigenous children from their communities “was both traumatic and violent”, the investigation found. They were sent to institutions that were run in a “rigid military fashion with heavy emphasis on rustic vocational education”.

The schools deployed “systematic militarised and identity-alteration methodologies”, including renaming children from Indigenous to English names, cutting their hair short, requiring uniforms, discouraging or preventing religious and cultural practices, and organising children into units to perform military drills. The institutions also forced children to perform manual labour, including sewing garments and agricultural production, the report found.

If children spoke their language or practised their culture, they faced severe punishment, including solitary confinement, humiliation, flogging, withholding food, whipping, slapping and cuffing. Older children were forced to punish younger children. When they ran away and were caught, they faced physical punishment including whipping.

How did children die?

While the report doesn’t detail exactly how children died, it does describe conditions that could lead to death. “Rampant physical, sexual and emotional abuse; disease; malnourishment; overcrowding; and lack of health care in Indian boarding schools are well-documented.”

According to the report, young, malnourished children were forced to perform industrial labour. The report states that federal reporting of child deaths, including the number and cause of death, is inconsistent.

In Southern California, the federal government ran an off-reservation boarding school called the Sherman Institute. Its cemetery holds more than 60 graves, most of them students.

Jean Keller, a historian who wrote a book about the Sherman Institute, told Al Jazeera that most of the children died from diseases including typhoid fever, tuberculosis and influenza. Others died in accidents — one was killed when he was hit in the head with a hammer that children were throwing on the playing field, and another child was killed when a bakery oven exploded.

a late 19th century photograph of pupils at an Indigenous boarding school in Santa Fe
A copy of a late 19th-century photograph shows pupils at an Indigenous boarding school in Santa Fe, New Mexico [File: Susan Montoya Bryan/AP Photo]

Marsha Small, a northern Cheyenne researcher, surveyed the Chemawa Indian School cemetery in Oregon using various tools and found 210 graves associated with the boarding school — most of them children. She said many died from cholera, influenza and tuberculosis.

“They’re going to find that there are more bodies than there are records,” Small told Al Jazeera. She believes that because the government and churches had no respect for Indigenous children, so they likely did not properly account for every death. “It was genocide,” she said.

According to the report, tribes have widely varied preferences for the possible repatriation of remains, presenting a problem for the federal initiative. Some burial sites contain remains of multiple people, or remains that were relocated from other sites, meaning it may be impossible to identify them, the report said.

Small told Al Jazeera that children from different nations are buried next to each other at Chemawa, and each tribe has different protocols — some may want to exhume the remains and bring them home to be buried on their traditional lands, while others may not want the graves touched at all.

What happens next?

“Our children deserve to be found, our children deserve to be brought home,” Deborah Parker, CEO of the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS), told reporters on Wednesday. “We are here for their justice, and we will not stop advocating until the United States fully accounts for the genocide committed against Native children.”

Parker told Al Jazeera that NABS worked closely with the department on the new report, but she is also calling for a wider investigation into boarding schools.

She is pushing for Senate Bill 2907 and House Bill 5444 that would establish a Congressional truth and healing commission to conduct a full inquiry. While the federal initiative will examine its own records, she said the commission would also pull records across federal, state, hospital and church archives and private collections, widening the scope. It would also collect testimony from survivors and experts.

 A makeshift memorial for the dozens of Indigenous children who died more than a century ago
A makeshift memorial for the dozens of Indigenous children who died more than a century ago while attending a boarding school that was once located in Albuquerque, New Mexico [File: Susan Montoya Bryan/AP Photo]

She called on Pope Francis to open the Catholic Church’s records and to apologise to Native American boarding school survivors, as he has done for survivors in Canada. She added that President Joe Biden should apologise to boarding school survivors on behalf of the US government. She believes survivors are owed reparations. “Some of us have given up hope, which is why you see suicides, alcoholism, abuse, self-abuse, because we have been forgotten for so long,” she told Al Jazeera.

The government has never given survivors a chance to share their stories, and the report recommends that it develop a platform for survivors to formally document their experiences.

Haaland announced Wednesday that the initiative will travel across the country in a year-long “Road to Healing” to allow survivors to contribute their stories to a permanent oral history collection. The tour will provide trauma-informed support, the department said.

The report also recommends that the department should approximate the amount of tribal trust funds used to support the boarding school system, and identify groups that received the funds. It also recommends examining the connection between boarding schools and the foster care system.

The department says it will produce a second report with the locations of marked or unmarked burial sites, and the names, ages and tribal affiliations of the children buried there.

Haaland said she considers it her responsibility and legacy to uncover the dark history of the institutions. “The fact that I am standing here today as the first Indigenous cabinet secretary is testament to the strength and determination of Native people,” she said.

“I am here because my ancestors persevered,” she said, her voice shaking. “I stand on the shoulders of my grandmother and my mother, and the work we will do with the federal Indian boarding schools initiative will have a transformational impact on the generations who follow.”

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

===

ICYMI:

Native American women are facing an epidemic of violence

03. December 2021

More than 80 percent of Indigenous women in the United States have experienced violence in their lifetime.

Indigenous women in the United States are going missing and getting murdered, at an alarming rate. A rate 10 times the national average on some reservations.

Ninety-six percent of the time, the crimes are committed on Native land by a non-Native perpetrator. But because tribal courts and tribal police, for the most part, do not have the authority to prosecute crimes committed on reservations by non-Native perpetrators, there is rarely ever any accountability for these crimes or justice for the families of the victims.

This week on UpFront, Marc Lamont Hill is joined by Mary Kathryn Nagle, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a lawyer focused on tribal sovereignty and safety for Native women and children, and Kerri Colfer, a member of the Tlingit tribe of Southeast Alaska and National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center’s senior Native affairs adviser, to discuss the roots of this epidemic of violence, and what is being done to end it.

===

Canada: Ditching the Papal Bull(shit) and sovereignty


These three edicts served as the foundation and justification for the Doctrine of Discovery and set in place a catastrophic chain of events for First Nations Peoples.

Senwung Lu, OKT Law

On May 1, 2016, First nations people from Canada organised a Long March to Rome and met with Pope Francis and requested him to rescind the Papal “Bulls of Discovery”.

Canadian Perspective

So what exactly do these Papal Bulls, both of which are over 500 years old, have to do with Indigenous rights in Canada today?

Papal bull of Pope Urban VIII, 1637, sealed with a lead bulla. (Part of the George Powell of Nanteos Bequest given to the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1882.) Enlarge image

 

Long March to Rome - 2016


Kahnawake Mohawk Kenneth Deer, a representative of the Haudenosaunee External Relations Committee, which represents the Iroquois Confederacy Council on international matters, was part of a delegation that called itself the Long March to Rome. Kernnetyh also had a private audience with Pope Francis.  Enlarge image


Chief Himko Kaps Kap Cayuse aka Dr David Close meets Pope Francis  Enlarge image 

The Papal Bulls of Discovery are an important piece of a larger idea in international law, called the Discovery Doctrine, which holds that when European nations “discovered” non-European lands, they gained special rights over that land, such as sovereignty and title, regardless of what other peoples live on that land.

As applied to Canada, a good place to start in exploring these issues might be the 1990 Supreme Court of Canada decision of R v Sparrow. This was the first time the highest court in the Canadian legal system had a chance to deal directly with s.35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, which for the first time explicitly enshrined the protection of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in the Constitution of Canada.

In Sparrow, the Supreme Court of Canada had a generational chance to lay out an understanding of the place of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in the Canadian constitution in a way that took a clean break from Canada’s colonial past. But instead the Court began by saying:

“It is worth recalling that while British policy towards the native population was based on respect for their right to occupy their traditional lands, […] there was from the outset never any doubt that sovereignty and legislative power, and indeed the underlying title, to such lands vested in the Crown.” (Sparrow, p 1103)

From this position, it was not a far leap for the Court to later say in the Van der Peet case that the law must help “the reconciliation of the pre-existence of [A]boriginal societies with the sovereignty of the Crown.” But as the Court also said in Van der Peet, it is the existence of the Aboriginal societies, and their rights that need proving in the courts; the sovereignty of the Crown is just taken as a given.

In practical terms, there are two sets of implications that flow from this position. First, unless an Indigenous community proves to a court’s satisfaction that it has exclusive occupation or control of a territory, the default understanding of the Canadian legal system is that that territory is Crown land, even if Crown officials and settlers have never set foot on that land. Second, even if an Indigenous community can prove that they have an Aboriginal rightAboriginal title, or a Treaty right, that right is always potentially subject to infringement by the Crown.

What connects all of these positions is that the default owner of land, and the default holder of legal jurisdiction in Canada, remains the Crown. When Indigenous communities have Aboriginal rights under Canadian law, those rights are understood to modify the default sovereignty and title of the Crown, but the Crown retains the jurisdiction to infringe those rights, at least to the extent that they can get a court to agree that the infringement is justified.

So how did Canadian law get to the idea that Crown sovereignty is presumed to exist, but the Indigenous presence must be proven? It will be helpful to go back to the Sparrow case, where the SCC said that “there was from the outset never any doubt that sovereignty and legislative power, and indeed the underlying title, to such lands vested in the Crown.” One of the most remarkable things about this reasoning from the Canadian Court is that it cited as authority for this proposition the 1823 decision of the US Supreme Court, Johnson v M’Intosh.

Johnson v M’Intosh was a contest between two settlers, both of whom argued that they had good title to a piece of land in Indiana. Johnson could trace his title to a settler who bought land from the Piankeshaw Nation in 1775. M’Intosh, on the other hand, traced his title to a land purchase from the Piankeshaw Nation by the United States government of the same land, but the purchase took place in 1805. The conventional common law understanding would have been that Johnson should win against M’Intosh, because the Piankeshaw Nation, already having been sold the land once in 1775, had nothing left to sell to the Untied States in 1805.

However, the US Supreme Court decided in favour of M’Intosh. Why? Because of what the Court called the Discovery Doctrine: the idea that “discovery” of a non-European land by representatives of a European monarch gave that monarch an exclusive right to buy lands from the Indigenous peoples of the area. And since the US government was the successor to the British Monarch who “discovered” this area, only the US government had the right to buy lands from the Piankeshaw Nation. Therefore, M’Intosh won.

Tellingly, the US Court said this about the Discovery Doctrine:

“In the establishment of these relations, the rights of the original inhabitants were in no instance entirely disregarded, but were necessarily to a considerable extent impaired. They were admitted to be the rightful occupants of the soil, with a legal as well as just claim to retain possession of it, and to use it according to their own discretion; but their rights to complete sovereignty as independent nations were necessarily diminished, and their power to dispose of the soil at their own will to whomsoever they pleased was denied by the original fundamental principle that discovery gave exclusive title to those who made it.” (underlining added)

The US Supreme Court, though, did not see itself as coming up with this Discovery Doctrine by itself. Instead, it said that “The history of America from its discovery to the present day proves, we think, the universal recognition” of the Discovery Doctrine.

And of course, by “universal recognition”, the Court meant recognition by Europeans and their settlers. The Discovery Doctrine was a recognized principle of international law, which of course arose out of the relationships between European countries. And two of the most important sources of this principle of international law were the Papal Bulls of Romanus Pontifex (1455) and Inter Caetera (1493).

These Bulls purported to give Spanish and Portuguese monarchs the right to lands and jurisdictions over any lands that they discovered, based on the idea that the spread of Christianity to non-European peoples gave them the right to do so. Rather than rejecting this principle, other European monarchs, such as the French and British monarchs, simply sought to modify the rule so that they could also gain lands and jurisdiction by discovery as well. For example, King Francis I of France convinced Pope Clement VII to interpret Inter Caetera to apply only to lands that had been “discovered” by the time that it was issued in 1493, so that France could legitimately claim discovery and jurisdiction over Canada, which Jacques Cartier “discovered” in 1534.

As can be seen from the above discussion, so much of international and Canadian law is so enmeshed with the Discovery Doctrine that a repudiation of these Bulls by Pope Francis will probably not, in and of itself, immediately change how the Doctrine is being applied on the ground. However, just as the Pope showed leadership at the dawn of European colonization in legitimating imperialism, he has a chance now to show leadership in repudiating that legacy.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has issued some Calls to Action that are highly relevant to this issue. Call #48, for example, calls upon the churches of Canada to adopt and comply with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. UNDRIP establishes, among other things, a right of Indigenous peoples to their lands and a right not to have their lands taken from them without their free, prior, and informed consent (Arts. 10, 26, 32). Indigenous peoples also have a right to self-government (Arts. 4, 5, 18, 19, 20, 23, 33). The vision of legally legitimated European imperialism articulated in Romanus Pontifex and Inter Caetera are not at all consistent with UNDRIP, and Pope Francis has an opportunity to update the stance of the Church in repudiating those Bulls.

But the opportunity of moving past European imperialism does not belong exclusively to the Pope. TRC Call to Action #45, for example, explicitly calls on the Government of Canada, on behalf of all Canadians, to repudiate the Discovery Doctrine and implement UNDRIP.

Canadians have elected a new federal government who promised to implement all of the TRC Calls to Action. Settler Canadians now have an opportunity to reset their relationship with Indigenous Canadians on a different footing. Under the paradigm of European imperialism, there may indeed have been “universal recognition” that “discovery” and the planting of flags could indeed give a foreign king title to Indigenous lands, and jurisdiction over Indigenous peoples. Indeed, that is how the Canadian state has been built. But there are alternatives, such as seeing the treaty relationship as a basis for shared sovereignty. Settler Canadians have a chance to recast their legal and political institutions, in a way that sees Indigenous Canadians as neighbours, rather than subjugated peoples. And surely no one wants a neighbour who thinks he can take over your front yard just by sticking a flag on it.

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