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"Why I Protest" by Rev. Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister of Justice and Witness Ministries
The Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery
A Biblical Reflection
As part of the implementation of the General Synod 29 resolution, the joint working group of Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM) and Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) offer this resource for our churches to take up with prayer. To download the study, click HERE. Additional video resources:
Many Americans grow up learning that this continent was “discovered” by Christopher Columbus. The concept of discovery, as if the land was empty prior to arrival and its indigenous inhabitants were somehow “less than” the explorers is, at its heart, racism and cultural superiority.
The doctrine of discovery, a concept of public international law expounded by the United States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, originated from various church documents in Christian Europe in the mid-1400s to justify the pattern of domination and oppression by European monarchies as they invasively arrived in the Western hemisphere. It theologically asserted the right to claim the indigenous lands, territories, and resources on behalf of Christendom, and to subjugate native peoples around the world.
The U.S. Supreme Court used the doctrine to assert that the United States, as the successor of Great Britain, had inherited authority over all lands within our claimed boundaries. This decision allowed our government to legally ignore or invalidate any native claims to property and resources. To this day courts continue to cite this legal precedent. It is still being used by courts to decide property rights cases brought by Native Americans against the U.S. and against non-Natives.
The repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery by General Synod 29 provides an invaluable teaching moment for our congregations to understand systemic and continuous impact of racism on the daily lives of indigenous peoples in the U.S.
Child Sponsorship - With Eyes to See
Would you like to become involved with an easy global mission project? Come, you who are blessed... share comfort and show compassion in life as Christ did around the world. The Global Ministries Child Sponsorship Program is the place to get connected! This global children's ministry works closely with private centers that have long-established links with a UCC or Disciples global partner. Through partners, we work in collaboration with our agencies to provide food, basic health care, clothing and in some cases housing, school fees, uniform, books and training and livelihood opportunities to many poor and destitute children in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe. The Child Sponsorship program has been providing assistance for more than 40 years—one child at a time...