The Doctrine of Discovery

The foundational documents of the Doctrine of Discovery are a series of papal bulls, or legal decrees, created by the Christian church that explain why Europeans alone deserve to own land in what was termed the New World, and why those of European descent are deemed human while those indigenous to the land, my ancestors included, are not. Law upon law, termed precedents in the U.S. legal system, has been based on these original assumptions that continue to shape reality for Indigenous Peoples in North America and around the world. 

From “The Land is Not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery” by Sarah Augustine