1) Why and how is the term “Doctrine of Discovery” returning at the end of the textbook? How does “The Doctrine of Discovery” seem to manifest itself, according to Dunbar-Ortiz? Be sure to provide specific examples from the reading.
2) What does Dunbar-Ortiz mean by “Narratives of Dysfunction”? What are these narratives rooted in? How does she advocate changing these narratives?
3) What examples of “self-determination” are discussed in the video “Beyond Sovereignty”? What solutions do the panelists provide for different issues?
4) What does a “race to innocence” and a “no fault history” mean, according to Dunbar-Ortiz?
5) According to the final chapter, how can US society come to terms with its past responsibly? How might this acknowledgment be healing to all people in the US?
6) Lastly, please take a moment to reflect on the course overall – what materials resonated with you personally? What were your most important take-aways from this course? (you can write anything for this, just pretend like something may have stood out)
written speech of the power point
Slide 2: Before we get started, there are a couple of questions that are important to consider as we read through this week’s materials. Why is the chapter called “The Doctrine of Discovery”? We discussed this term at the beginning of the semester – why and how is this term returning at the end of the textbook? How does “The Doctrine of Discovery” seem to manifest itself in modern times?
Slide 3: Throughout the chapter, “Doctrine of Discovery,” the author Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz discusses how the Doctrine of Discovery is often taken for granted and rarely mentioned in historical/legal texts, even though “the doctrine of discovery remains the basis for federal laws still in effect that control Indigenous peoples’ lives and destinies, even their histories by distorting them” as the author explains on p 198. From the mid 15th century to the mid 20th century, most of the non-European world was colonized under the doctrine of discovery. This was the same for the United States. Not long after the founding of the US, in 1792, then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson claimed that the Doctrine of Discovery developed by European states was international law and applicable to the new US government as well. Through the Doctrine of Discovery, European and Euro-American ‘discoverers’ gained property rights in the lands of Indigenous peoples by merely planting a flag, which seems kind of silly right? Comedian Eddie Izzard makes fun of this concept and brings up interesting points in this short clip, “Do you have a flag?” Click on the hyperlink provided on the slide for a good laugh!
Slide 4: Much of the final chapters discuss the importance and transforming power of the terms “sovereignty” and “self-determination” for Indigenous peoples. Through the Doctrine of Discovery, Indigenous rights to sovereignty, as their own independent nations, were diminished. In other words, Indigenous peoples could live on the land, but title resided with the “discovering power.” Later decisions concluded that Native nations would be “domestic, dependent nations” within the US. However, Indigenous nations seek political autonomy or control of their social/political institutions without compromising their unique cultural values. The author explains that the question of self-determination is a recent historical phenomenon, and that the “central concern for Indigenous peoples in the US is prevailing upon the federal government to honor hundreds of treaties and other agreements concluded between the US and Indigenous nations as between two sovereign states… [These] [d]emands to have treaties and agreements upheld have… accelerated [ever] since the end of the termination era.” P 203
Slide 5: Now we’ll zoom in on some strides forward for Self-Determination and Sovereignty. The Indian Self-Determination Act of 1975 validated Indigenous control over their own social and economic development with continuation of federal financial obligations under treaties and agreements. It was the result of over 15 years of efforts: from American Indian activism, American Indian Movement/Civil