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Indigenous Peoples and the Anglican Church of Canada

Author The Anglican Church of Canada
Title Indigenous Peoples and the Anglican Church of Canada
Year 2014
Subtitle Timeline of an Evolving Relationship
Publisher The Anglican Church of Canada
Publisher URL URL
Publication Type Booklet
Location Online
Pages 1
CRRF Identifier AP-Ge-BR-4625
Last modified 2016-05-19
English Abstract

"When Anglicans arrived in Turtle Island (now known as North America), they brought their Bibles and their faith. But they also brought another belief—a concept known as the Doctrine of Discovery. It has caused untold pain and shadowed the relationship between Indigenous peoples and settler Anglicans ever since. In the 1400s, the European powers began seriously exploring and colonizing beyond their own continent—into the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The established churches saw the expansion of their own message and influence as tied to the European states. They developed a theology to support European empire building. Known as the Doctrine of Discovery, this series of European church and state pronouncements started in 1452 and includes the concept of terra nullius, or empty land. Indigenous peoples were not seen as inhabiting the land, since they didn’t have the institutions of European civilization (no matter that they had their own ways of ordering their lives). Anglicans and Protestants took the Doctrine of Discovery with them when they split from the Roman Catholic Church. It still underpins many national laws and policies in the nation states that emerged from the European colonial process. It has been cited by courts in the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand to justify rule over Indigenous lands, even into the 21st century. The Anglican Church of Canada finally denounced and repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery in 2010. Undoing its damage and living into right relations is all our work for generations. Here is an outline of the journey so far."