Canadian indigenous bishop slams 'doctrine of discovery'

Posted Aug 17, 2017

[Anglican Communion News Service] The “doctrine of discovery” – the idea that indigenous people need to be discovered and westernized – has been criticized by the national indigenous bishop of Canada. Bishop Mark MacDonald made his comments during a visit to Australia, where he attended a number of events, including a retreat for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican leaders retreat in central Australia.

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Comments (4)

  1. William Russiello says:

    “Westernized” is confused with modernization. The problem is distinguishing one from the other. Modernization may or may not be a good thing; but people (including indigineous people) seem to want its benefits. The Europeans modernized first, not becaus of any inherent superiority, but because of historical circumstances. They brought it to indigineous peoples. I’m sure that Bishop MacDonald has plenty to say about the negative effects of the Europeans on the indigenous people, but I doubt that he, or they, want to stop using their cell phones. If westernization is a matter of culture, then Bishop MacDonald is engaging in one of the most westernizing endeavors among the indigenous people; proselytizing the Christian religion.

    1. Joan Mistretta says:

      Good points, William R. Well said. I think maybe the “historical circumstances” you mention are what are spoken of in the book “Guns, Germs and Steel.’

  2. Joan Mistretta says:

    Well, I guess I will add to my comment, if I may. I don’t think that in this day and age proselytizing the Christian religion belongs in the rest of the group of behaviors. Today there is much more choice involved and much less power to threaten.

    1. Keith Gardner says:

      Well said.

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