The Doctrine of Discovery
This book shines new light on the mostly ignored historical and legal evidence of the use of the Doctrine of Discovery in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. In these countries, Christian Europeans assumed that they held sovereign, property, and commercial rights over the indigenous peoples under the ‘legal authority’ of the Doctrine. This chapter examines the development of Discovery in Europe, focusing on England's role in that development and its use of the Doctrine in these four English colonies. It also sets out the elements of Discovery to explain its underpinnings and definition and to explain how it was used in these four countries to acquire the rights of indigenous peoples. These four countries still struggle to deal with indigenous peoples and, in fact, they were the only countries to vote against the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
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