A Faithful Response: Indigenous Land Rights and Environmental Injustice

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A Faithful Response: Indigenous Land Rights and the Environmental Injustice of the Doctrine of Discovery

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"A Faithful Response: Indigenous Land Rights and the Environmental Injustice of the Doctrine of Discovery” will provide an opportunity for participants to learn and take action to support the land rights campaigns of local San Francisco Bay Area indigenous groups and to examine how the church can confess and repudiate its role in the Doctrine of Discovery.

Co-sponsored by First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto and the Peace and Justice Working Group of the San Jose Presbytery.

*ASL interpretation will be made available.

How are Indigenous Land Rights, Environmental Injustice, and the Doctrine of Discovery Related?

"As people of faith, we have a moral call to pursue environmental justice: the sustainable and equi- table sharing of the gifts of God’s creation among all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or class. Yet, inequities abound. To take steps toward healing our relationship with God’s creation and each other, we need to understand the roots of the injustice.

A root cause of environmental injustice is the Doctrine of Discovery. The Doctrine of Discovery originated with the Christian church and was based on Christian scripture. For more than five centuries, the Doctrine of Discovery and the laws based upon it have legalized the theft of land, labor and resources from Indigenous Peoples, and systematically denied their human rights.

Outside of Indigenous Peoples and scholars, however, few are aware of the continued impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery. In the U.S. today, Indigenous Peoples continue to experience systemic injustices through broken treaties, land and resource theft, inadequate protection of sacred sites, and pollution of their air and water. As Christians, now is the time to understand our role in the injustice, and seek to rectify it."

Source: “Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery” exhibit, Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Working Group, dofdmenno.org.

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