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Does the Doctrine of Discovery continue to influence Native Americans?

this whole document consists of the following " Christopher Columbus and the Doctrine of Discovery - 5 Things to Know

Does the Doctrine of Discovery continue to influence Native Americans?

Yes. Native Americans now face the impacts of this controversial doctrine and of colonization. These effects range from land sales being made in the name of "protection" (purchased in violation of treaty provisions), to the continued establishment of reservations, to the exclusion of citizens from voting on federal or state matters, to the denial of healthcare and other social services.

Former U.S. Senator William Coats (R-Ind.) has made public comments asserting that Indians are still "exploited" through the Doctrine of Discovery. Another proponent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has written that, "after the 'settler' conquest of America, Europe needed 'neighbors' and Indian populations needed to be 'exterminated.'"

Does the church object to the term "Native American"?

The church believes it is "appalling" to describe individuals as Native Americans when they do not fit the genetic profile. Church officials explain that the term "Native American" often is used incorrectly by people who do not understand how the United States established tribal governments. The church, in its native tongue, calls its missionaries from indigenous cultures "Messiahs" or "Anointed One."

There is a small group of people within the church who use the term "Indian" to refer to members of some Indian tribes. (Some have also used "Native American" or "American Indian" interchangeably with "Mormon.") The church, as part of its "respect for others" belief, will continue to allow individuals to refer to themselves as members of a particular tribe. The word "Indian" will remain offensive to members of those tribes.

-- David A. Grimm

Updated Nov. 19 to include additional information from the Church.

This story was produced for KSL's "100 Years of Wonders" prog

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