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A growing, Indigenous-led, grassroots movement has claimed September 30 as Orange Shirt Day – a day to remember and honour the students of Residential Schools.  This year the federal government has responded to the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission’s,  “Call to Action” and named September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

I want to encourage you to watch a well produced video which is titled, “Doctrine of Discovery: Stolen lands, Strong Hearts.”  Just see if it doesn’t stir you to want to wear an orange shirt.  Set aside some time to think about our First Nations Brothers and Sisters and what the Doctrine of Discovery has meant for them and for you and me.  

There was a cataclysmic change in rights of Indigenous Peoples when the Crown assumed sovereignty in Canada.  Sovereign rights of Indigenous Peoples and nations were usurped and replaced by Crown rights.  This was done through the Doctrine of Discovery and the doctrine of Terra Nullius, which is literally translated the “land is vacant.”  

The Doctrine of Discovery allowed the Crown to claim sovereignty over Indigenous Peoples and land by holding that Indigenous Peoples cannot claim ownership of land.  It does concede a restricted title (an ‘Aboriginal title’) to rights of occupation and land use.

The legal doctrine of Terra Nullius, land that is legally deemed to be unoccupied or uninhabited, allowed for the Crown to grant land to its colonial interests, including 70-80% of Canada’s land mass to the Hudson Bay Company.Take your next step on a journey of reconciliation.  Watch the video by clicking here.

Peace be with you,