"The November article about King Charles (“Canadian Anglicans ask: Will Charles be the reconciliation king ?” p. 1) includes reference to an excellent Globe and Mail op-ed by Indigenous lawyer and professor Douglas Sanderson regarding the Doctrine of Discovery. Professor Sanderson corrected an error that continues to be repeated by Canadian media and Indigenous leaders and groups. Neither Great Britain nor France used the Doctrine of Discovery to take over Indigenous lands in Canada. It first appeared in a papal bull issued in 1493 and permitted the Spanish and Portuguese to forcibly take over much of the land in South America that was not occupied by a 'Christian king or prince'. The doctrine was later adopted by the United States Supreme Court in a 19th century case to legitimize the U.S. government’s right to forcibly take over any lands occupied by Indigenous people. In contrast, Canada (the Crown) negotiated with Indigenous peoples rather than adopting the Doctrine of Discovery. Great Britain and Canada did not seize lands by force and slaughter Indigenous peoples but rather negotiated with First Nations. This is not to say that in today’s terms the treaties of the past were fair to the Indigenous peoples, but by adopting negotiation rather than forced occupation and murder, Canada made a far better choice". [Text of entire article.]
Author is a "Retired lawyer, federal department of Justice".