Indigenous in Americas Just Say 'No' To Papal Bull
Indian Country Today,
August 16, 2006
"Phoenix, AZ: Indigenous in the Americas are demanding that the 'doctrines of discovery,' the papal bulls that led to the seizure of American Indian homelands, be rescinded. At the Summit of Indigenous Nations on Bear Butte in South Dakota, delegations of indigenous nations and nongovernmental organizations passed a strongly worded resolution condemning the historical use of the doctrine of discovery as an instrument of genocide.
Tupac Enrique Acosta, coordinator at Tonatierra in Phoenix, said the effort at Bear Butte continues the indigenous battle to halt genocide of indigenous peoples and seizures of their homelands in the Americas. Tonatierra was among the organizations at the Summit of Indigenous Nations taking action to rescind the doctrines of discovery:
Papal Bull Inter Caetera of 1493 and the 1496 Royal Charter of the Church of England. 'The Indigenous Nations have resolved, here at the base of Mato Paha [Bear Butte], that the Pope of the Catholic Church and the Queen of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury rescind these doctrines of discovery for having served to justify and pave the way for the illegal dispossession of aboriginal land title and the subjugation of non-Christian peoples to the present day,' according to the summit's statement.
Forty delegations of indigenous spiritual and political leaders, as well as NGOs, signed the resolution. 'These papal bulls have been the basis for the extinguishment of aboriginal land title and the subjugation of indigenous peoples of Abya Yala [North and South America]. The implementation of the papal bulls evolved in the United States through the Supreme Court decision of Johnson v. McIntosh  which established the precedent for the denial of aboriginal title to American Indian lands in the United States,' according to the summit.
'It has been resolved by 23 Nations and NGO's and 100 individual signatories that the 'Doctrine of Discovery' is a legal and political fiction in violation of the rights of indigenous peoples and intellectual act of oppression which continues to serve to suppress and repress the indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere.'"
To read the 1493 Papal Bull and to learn more about its effects on Indigenous Peoples, visit the website of the United Confederation of Taino People (UCTP) at: