AFNQL Statement Following Pope Francis’ Announcement Rejecting the Doctrine of Discovery
WENDAKE, QC, March 31, 2023 – Yesterday, the Vatican announced, 600 years too late, that it was finally rejecting the doctrine of discovery.
Indeed, the AFNQL welcomes this announcement, but nonetheless emphasizes that the visit of the sovereign pontiff was a missed opportunity to address this setback during his visit last July to territories stolen by this doctrine and to the main victims of this one.
Although the Catholic Church rejected this doctrine, it should not be forgotten that colonialist governments never did and even deeply used it to advantage. How can a doctrine that emerged from the Catholic Church in the middle of the 15th century, that of “discovery”, the foundation of a colonialism that was to claim millions of victims in the following centuries, still inspire and guide governments in 2023?
As a matter of fact, the stubbornness in denying the most fundamental rights of the First Nations, territorial rights, rights to their self-determination, linguistic rights to name a few, is still based on this historical base of colonialism.
”If the Vatican has finally agreed to correct this historical aberration, the AFNQL asks the Legault government to also renounce it and to accept as a historical and ineluctable fact the existence of First Nations governments and their exclusive legitimacy on anything that affects their populations,” says Chief Ghislain Picard.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization that brings together 43 First Nations chiefs in Quebec and Labrador.
For further information: Marie-Céline Einish, Conseillère aux communications, firstname.lastname@example.org