The Doctrine of Discovery in Canada

Robert J Miller, Jacinta Ruru, Larissa Behrendt and Tracey Lindberg

in Discovering Indigenous Lands

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579815
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594465 | DOI:
The Doctrine of Discovery in Canada

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This chapter discusses Indigenous conceptualizations of land, legal orders, and governmental authorities, and the problems of re-constructing history when not including indigenous peoples in the dialogue. It examines colonial constructions of indigeneity and the disregard of indigenous land relationships, legal orders, and sovereignty that led both to settlement on indigenous territories in Canada and the construction of Canadian false understandings of indigenous humanity. The chapter examines constitutional doctrine, early treaties with first peoples, Canadian legislation, and early case law in order to determine to what degree Canadian legal understanding has been informed by the Doctrine of Discovery.

Keywords: Christianity; indigenous sovereignty; First Nations Treaties; indigeneity; indigenous peoples

Chapter.  19100 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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