Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz on the Doctrine of Discovery_ on Anti-War Progressive Teach-in

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Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz on the Doctrine of Discovery

In 1455 Pope Nicholas V issued to the King of Portugal the bull Romanus Pontifex, sanctioning and promoting the conquest, colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories. This became the Doctrine of Discovery that is amazingly still enforced today and enshrined in US Federal law. This program is based on a talk she gave at the Lannan Foundation.

In her talk at the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe on October 11, 2017, Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz asked why the history of Native Americans is so rarely told. Some of that has to do with the wrongs inflicted on Native Americans throughout what is now the United States. She described the work done at the United Nations to define what constitutes genocide and to pass the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948.

Toward the end of this program Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz is joined on stage in conversation by her friend and colleague, historian Nick Estes. He is member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, and doctoral candidate at the University of New Mexico.

In this last segment Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz makes inspiring comments on two questions asked by Nick Estes. He is member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, and doctoral candidate at the University of New Mexico.

First she remembers the forgotten history of the Green Corn Rebellion in Oklahoma. When Woodrow Wilson declared war in 1917 the poor tenant farmers in Oklahoma forged a coalition of Whites, African Americans and Indians. They were united by the recognition that the family would starve if they lost their sons. Under leadership of the Seminole Indians they wrote a manifesto, created a liberated zone by blowing up brides and tried to embark on an anti war march through the South with the goal to establish a socialist commonwealth. Their movement was betrayed by an informer and mostly white militia members confronted them and ended the uprising.

This program ends with a moving argument that the tending of corn and most vegetables that are know today by peoples in the Western Hemisphere had created extraordinary civilizations from Terra de Fuego to the Subarctic. They were on par with the other – more famous – civilizations in the Middle East as well as China. European Colonialism appropriated these already existing civilizations, shoved the people aside, and then privatized the wealth.

Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz is not only professor emerita of ethnic studies with a focus on history but has also been part of the International Indigenous movement for more than four decades. Along with groups such as the International Indian Treaty Council she advocated up to the level of the United Nations for indigenous sovereignty and land rights.

She is the author of many books including Roots of Resistance, The Great Sioux Nation, and An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States. Her upcoming book is Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment – to be published by City Lights in early 2018.

From a TUC Presentation.

This show was broadcast on December 9, 2017.

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The Anti-war Progressive Teach-in broaches upon some of the most highly charged subjects of our day—War & Peace, national healthcare, women’s rights, human rights, civil rights, torture, vets against the war, freedom, democracy, protest, demonstrations, etc. We scour the world to find and gather debates and presentations that are extremely informative and educational. Related subjects are also discussed. It provides key information for the uninitiated and the initiated alike.


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