Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples lived in separate worlds prior to contact. Each had different languages, cultures, governments, and societies.
The Doctrine of Discovery, also known as the discovery doctrine, is the legal and moral justification that explorers from European nations used to claim the title to lands used by sovereign Indigenous nations.
The Doctrine of Discovery can be traced to three Papal Bulls (formal statements from the Pope): papal bulls known as Dum Diversas (1452), Romanus Pontifex (1455), and Inter Caetera (1493).
A treaty made between the Haudenosaunee and early European newcomers (initially the Dutch). It has become an example of a treaty made respectfully between equal partners. The treaty is represented by a wampum belt. On this belt, the two lines of purple beads on a white background represent two rivers. One river has a canoe, the other has a boat. Both rivers carry the two nations along peacefully. In this agreement both nations agreed to recognize and respect the sovereignty of the other nation and further agree that neither group will force their laws, traditions, or customs on the other.
The TRC final report states: “Reconciliation cannot be left up to governments, the courts, and churches alone. There must be dialogue and action in communities across the country. Reconciliation must happen across all sectors of Canadian Society” (pg. 306, Honoring the Truth Reconciling for the Future).
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