The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code

PRESENTED BY: Meaningful Movies in Kirkland
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7:00 PM, Friday, January 15, 2016
Location: Kirkland, WA (click for map)

With guests from the Duwamish tribe (“Seattle’s First People”) Ken Workman and Cecile Hansen (tribal council chair).

“The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking The Domination Code” examines a little known subject traced back to Columbus’s so-called “discovery” of the Americas.  By papal decree, the first Christian people to discover lands inhabited by non-Christians asserted the “ultimate dominion” to be in themselves.  This “right of discovery” was adopted and used by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1823 in the case Johnson & Graham’s Lessee v. M’Intosh, in which the Court defined the land title of the Indians as a “mere right of occupancy.” Thus the Christian power that claimed “ultimate dominion” could grant away the soil while yet in the possession of “heathens.” This doctrine remains the Supreme Law of the Land in the United States.

Theologian Luis Rivera, who was interviewed for the film, points out that an accurate history must account for the theological and religious justifications for claims of domination over the Indians.  The film is based on a 2008 book, Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Discovery, by Steven Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape).

Special Guests: Guests from the Duwamish tribe ("Seattle's First People") will attend the screening and participate in the community discussion.

Release Year: 2015

Running Time: 61 min

Director: Sheldon Wolfchild

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