Book review of new book about the Doctrine of Discovery

Richard Walker, of Indian Country Today, reviews my latest book on the Doctrine of Discovery. I co-wrote it with Indigneous professors from Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

He wrote:

“Professor Robert J. Miller, author of a 2007 book about President Thomas Jefferson’s use of the Doctrine of Discovery to justify the United States’ expansion and its acquisition of indigenous land, has co-authored a new book about the Doctrine’s use in other countries.

Miller, Eastern Shawnee, teamed with indigenous professors from Australia, Canada and New Zealand to write “Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies” (Oxford University Press). More about the book can be found on

Miller is a professor of law at Lewis & Clark College in Portland; he blogs at His earlier book, “Native America, Discovered and Conquered” (2007, 214 pages, Praeger), is a powerful book that clearly illustrates how Jefferson used the European legal tradition known today as the Doctrine of Discovery to justify United States expansion and acquisition of indigenous land.

The Doctrine of Discovery not only established rules for the acquisition and occupation of “discovered” land, it also established rules affecting how indigenous people were to be viewed and treated. Miller traced the development of this legal tradition, how it became international law and how it was used on this continent, and how the Doctrine of Discovery influences the daily lives of America’s First Peoples today.

Miller’s latest collaboration is an expanded look at the Doctrine of Discovery’s use in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.”

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