And so it began, with the Papal Bull of 1493.

Pope Alexander VI’s apocalyptic declaration established a free-for-all in the European conquest of Tribal lands and souls. It was their “Doctrine of Discovery.” To us, the First People of this land, it was a death song we had never heard, but soon enough, we would all sing.

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. . . a documentary on the restoration of the sacred feminine as a ‘Doctrine of Recovery’ for a planet in crisis.

". . .  A crucial step on our healing path forward. Visually beautiful, it inspires. A call to action for revoking the Doctrine of Discovery"

     

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Roseanne Archibald

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AFN Chief Roseanne Archibald

"A film of immense power and importance which communicates the undeniable devastation wrought by the Doctrine of Discovery and why the Pope must rescind it."

     

Dene National Chief & AFN Regional Chief (Northwest Territories), Gerald Antoine.

Regional Chief Antoine led the AFN Vatican delegation that received Pope Francis's initial apology for the Church's role in the Residential School atrocities.

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Chief Antoine at the Vatican

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It is timely that three highly respected Indigenous women from Turtle Island, including one of Canada’s most celebrated actors, Crystle Lightning, have come together to create a documentary about the devastating impacts of the Doctrine of Discovery. The premiere of the Doctrine of Recovery will coincide with the Pope’s proposed visit to Canada.

 

The film is a powerful reminder of how the Doctrine of Discovery is at the very foundation of systemic and institutionalized racism that our people continue to be marginalized by, and how the roots of so many tragic issues impacting First Nations’ communities today, like the Murdered and Missing crisis, began with the imposition of the Inter Caetera papal bull of May 4, 1493.

     

Kukpi 7 Judy Wilson

Skat’sin te Secwepemc Neskonlith/

Executive, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

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Papal Bulla

BREAKING NEWS!

MUST READ!

Pope Francis Must Revoke the Inter Caetera

Papal Bull of 1493 When He Visits First Nations this July

   

By Kukpi7 (Chief) Judy Wilson,

Skat’sin te Secwepemc Neskonlith/

Executive, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

 

In the wake of the Indigenous Peoples’ delegations who went to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis, I, and other elected leaders of First Nations, have called for a full apology. For Pope Francis to issue a meaningful apology, it is an absolute necessity for the Pope to revoke the Inter Caetera papal bull of May 4, 1493, the enabling text for the Doctrine of Discovery, which has resulted in the domination, dehumanization and genocide of our Indigenous Nations through the Residential School system and the theft of our lands by Christian states.

 

It took many years of work, dedication, and not least reliving the trauma of the residential school atrocities, for the Indigenous Peoples’ delegation to achieve what it did on April 1, 2022, when Pope Francis apologized for “the role that a number of Catholics, particularly those with educational responsibilities, have had in all these things that wounded you.” For some Residential School Survivors, this was a first step towards the start of their healing, but we still await a full apology. We remain committed to also seeking a meaningful apology from Queen Elizabeth II for crimes committed by the Anglican Church against our people.

 

Canada’s Residential Schools – like America’s Indian Boarding Schools - are where international crimes against humanity occurred. These Residential School sites with mass graves are, for many of us, ongoing crime scenes. Those children who didn’t make it home from the Kamloops and the St. Joseph’s (Williams Lake) Residential Schools situated on Secwépemcul’ecw bear silent testimony to that fact.

 

It is long overdue, but now is the time for Pope Francis to finally revoke the Inter Caetera papal bull of May 4, 1493, and for him to denounce the Doctrine of Discovery as a relic of an unconscionable past. The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs has been clear and consistent on this. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN), representing 634 First Nation Chiefs in Canada and some 900,000 First Nations people living in First Nation communities and in cities and towns across the country, has also held a strong line on the Doctrine of Discovery and the imperative for the Pope to renounce it.

 

The AFN’s longstanding policy can be viewed in the following - AFN Resolution 15/2018: Renewed Call for Vatican Apology. AFN Resolution 01/2021: Demanding Justice and Accountability for the Missing and Unidentified Children of Residential Schools. The AFN’s policy document: Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery (2018), and the just issued statement of the BC-AFN which concludes, “We are also calling on the Catholic Church to renounce the Papal Bulls of the Doctrine of Discovery, including the concept of Terra Nullius.”

 

The Doctrine of Recovery film is a powerful reminder of how the Doctrine of Discovery is at the very foundation of the systemic and institutionalized racism that our People continue to be marginalized by, and how the roots of so many tragic issues impacting First Nations’ communities today, like the Murdered and Missing crisis, began with the imposition of the Inter Caetera papal bull of May 4, 1493.To strengthen and highlight the call to revoke the Inter Caetera papal bull, let us watch this film, learn, share, discuss, and continue our healing journeys together.

 

This is our moment.

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Kukpi 7 Judy Wilson and Fawn Sharp, President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).

“We are also calling on the Catholic Church to renounce the Papal Bulls of the Doctrine of Discovery, including the concept of Terra Nullius.”

 AFN BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee

BC Assembly of First Nations Acknowledges Apology from Vatican as First Step Towards Reconciliation  (BCAFN.ca)
 

The Pope Apologized for Residential Schools, But Still Owes Survivors Millions (Vice.com)
 

Pope to visit Canada in July to meet residential school survivors (Aljazeera.com)