This Day in History: UUA Repudiates the Doctrine of Discovery

Healing Minnesota Stories has worked to shed light on the Doctrine of Discovery, its history, and the long-term devastating impact it has had on Native peoples. The Doctrine refers to the religious and legal justification used by Europe’s colonial powers to claim lands occupied by indigenous peoples, seize their property and forcibly convert or enslave them. Today, we highlight one of several denomination that has taken formal action to repudiate it.

On this week in history, the General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association met from June 22-24, 2012 and voted to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, calling it “a relic of colonialism, feudalism, and religious, cultural, and racial biases having no place in the modern day treatment of indigenous peoples.” The resolution calls upon “the Unitarian Universalist Association and its member congregations to review the historical theologies, policies, and programs of Unitarianism, Universalism, and Unitarian Universalism to expose the historical reality and impact of the Doctrine of Discovery and eliminate its presence in the contemporary policies, programs, theologies, and structures of Unitarian Universalism.”

The UUA has posted a study guide and other resources on its website to learn more.

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