The recent acknowledgment by the Catholic Church that the Doctrine of Discovery dehumanized Indigenous peoples and did not recognize their equal rights is an important step towards healing and reconciliation.
This doctrine has been used by governments, including the United States, to justify mistreatment and land theft from Indigenous communities.
We hope that this acknowledgement is not just symbolic, but leads to a full recognition of the history of oppression and colonialism, not just by the Church but also by governments worldwide.
Tribal disenrollment is a modern-day issue that stems from this history of oppression and discrimination. The fact that some tribes use racial and discriminatory criteria to strip members of their tribal citizenship is unacceptable and violates the fundamental principles of human dignity, as we have seen with the Five Civilized Tribes, and more recently with the reported upcoming expulsion of Blacks from The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians in CA.
Native leaders and native media MUST HAVE difficult conversations and work towards positive change and restorative justice for all peoples.
The resilience (WE ARE STILL HERE) and wisdom of Indigenous peoples are a testament to their strength and faith in a better future. DO THE RIGHT THING Tribal Leaders.