Doctrine of Discovery speeches in Australia

I will be speaking in Australia

March 2, at 6 p.m. at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane

and on March 5, at 1 p.m. at the University of Technology in Sydney.

Here is more information about my talks –

England explored and colonized the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada under the authority of an international law called the Doctrine of Discovery. Europeans justified their sovereign and property claims over Indigenous Peoples and their lands all around the world with the Discovery Doctrine.

This legal principle was rationalized by religious and ethnocentric ideas of European and Christian superiority over the other cultures, religions, and races of the world. The Doctrine provided that newly-arrived Europeans automatically acquired property rights in the lands of Indigenous Peoples and gained political and commercial rights over the Indigenous inhabitants. The United States Supreme Court expressly adopted Discovery in 1823 in the case of Johnson v. M’Intosh and American, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand governments and courts have cited and relied on that case and Discovery to try to control Indigenous Peoples.

Australia and the United States did not apply the elements of Discovery in the exact same manner or at the exact same time periods; but the similarities of their use of Discovery are striking and not the least bit surprising since the Doctrine was English colonial law. Viewing Australian and American history and law in light of the Doctrine of Discovery helps to expand the knowledge and understanding of both countries and their attempts to colonize Indigenous Peoples.

Miller has taught and practiced American Indian law since 1993. He is the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals for the Grand Ronde Tribe. Bob has published numerous writings on Indian law issues and has spoken at federal, state, and private conferences in more than thirty states and in England, Canada, and Australia. His first book, Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis & Clark, and Manifest Destiny, was published in 2006. He has finished the first draft of a book on American Indian economic development and just finished another book on Discovery with Indigenous scholars from Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. He is a citizen of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.

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