Settlement Agreement Parties and the UN Declaration (48-49)

Madeline Basile holds the ashes of the Sacred Fire over her head in prayer during the Québec National Event Closing Ceremonies

Current Reality

As of August 30, 2019 all Settlement Agreement Parties:

  • The Anglican Church of Canada
  • The Presbyterian Church in Canada
  • the Roman Catholic Entities Parties to the Settlement Agreement
  • The United Church of Canada
  • the Jesuits of English Canada
  • and numerous other “faith-based groups and interfaith social justice groups”

have multiple initiatives to advance these Calls to Action.

Mar. 30, 2023: The Vatican formally repudiates the Doctrine of Discovery, the 15th-century papal bulls, or decrees that legitimized the colonial-era seizure of Indigenous lands and form the basis of some property law today.

The Vatican statement also declares that these “papal bulls did not adequately reflect the equal dignity and rights of Indigenous peoples” and have never been considered expressions of the Catholic faith. It said the documents had been “manipulated” for political purposes by colonial powers “to justify immoral acts against Indigenous peoples that were carried out, at times, without opposition from ecclesial authorities.”

July 27, 2022: Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops asks Vatican to issue statement on the Doctrine of Discovery that they (CCAB) repudiated on March 19, 2016 when they issued “The “Doctrine of Discovery and Terra Nullius: A Catholic Response“.

The problem is that the CCAB is not the Vatican and their renunciation has no weight to influence the government’s continued reliance on both concepts to justify Canadian legal jurisdiction over Indigenous lands.  Even the Supreme Court has declared that Aboriginal title existed before Canada existed.

A renunciation of both concepts from the Vatican would bring considerably more weight to bear on governments all over the world who have displaced Indigenous people from their lands.

1/2 CTAs have been completed to date


Church Parties to Settlement Agreement to adopt and comply with principles of UNDRIP

In Progress


Church Parties to Settlement Agreement and Faith groups to repudiate Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius


Featured Updates

Current Problems

Explore by Themes

Church Repudiation of The Doctrine of Discovery

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Background Content

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Indigenous Responses to Vatican Repudiation

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What is the Doctrine of Discovery?

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