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Indigenous People: Our Apologies

As the UN prepares for the Forum on Indigenous People this May, some of the religious NGOs are planning to ask the UN Representative for the Holy See to consider some sort of symbolic gesture that would ask forgiveness in all our names for the suffering caused by the Doctrine of Discovery (what we would call “land grabbing” now). Beginning in the 1400’s, papal approval was given for civil rulers to claim non-Christian lands in the name of their own countries. Though this mandate has been rescinded at various levels by popes and bishops, many laws around the world are still based on this doctrine, to the detriment of Indigenous Peoples.