Sunday, March 18, 2018

"American Indian teens head to Vatican, hoping to overturn historic papal decrees They formed the basis of the so-called Doctrine of Discovery, which shapes U.S. Indian policy to this day and haunts Indians' well-being, the group says." By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune

..."A quick history lesson: Several papal decrees, known as “bulls,” were issued in the 1400s to legitimize the domination and destruction of non-Christian people. Those decrees, embraced by the early European colonizers of the Americas, formed the basis of U.S. Indian policy, which allowed the government to seize Indian land, remove its people, and control their personal and property rights, said Jacobs.
For example, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a landmark 1823 case that the titles of land discovered and conquered belonged to the conquering nation. American Indians only had the right to occupy it. As recently as 2005, the Supreme Court referred to this Doctrine of Discovery in a ruling against the Oneida Indian nation of New York, advocates note.
Walking Elk said a more recent example of indigenous rights being superseded by federal or corporate rights is the Keystone Pipeline running near Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Centuries of being treated as second-class citizens, or worse, has left a profound mark on Indian peoples, he said. 
Last week, Walking Elk and about a dozen students and some parents gathered in a classroom at Guadalupe Alternative Programs in St. Paul, where he teaches indigenous ceremonies. The smell of burning sage drifted into the classroom from a healing circle down the hall. The group got a trip update before joining the ceremony.
The need to heal underlies the Vatican trip, students said."

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