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Oren Lyons / Doctrine of Discovery

“Even through you and I are in different boats … we share the same river of life. What befalls me befalls you. And downstream in this river of life, our children will pay for our selfishness, for our greed, and for our lack of vision.”  ~ Oren Lyons


Oren Lyons speaks on the Doctrine of Discovery
Published on Sep 16, 2015 by TreeTV


In this simple short film, Oren Lyons speaks on the Doctrine of Discovery, a series of Roman Catholic papal bulls written between 1452 and 1492. He describes how the religious law doctrine has significantly influenced the still active social/environmental colonization of the planet, the dominant culture’s destructive relationship with indigenous people world-wide, the basic foundation of the United States, the presumption of land rights as guided by this principle and specifically, the impact of this law on the peoples of Haudenosaunee Six Nations (Iroquois).

This film is a part of a series of 8 short films from Tree TV called ‘Digital Wampum’. The Iroquois are embarking on this project describing the 500-year history of the Iroquois, their relationship with Europe and America, and their prophesies that, if heard, can help us navigate the oncoming changes due to climate change and cultural destruction. This series of short films is done via their testimony, and creates the space for the Iroquois to tell their story as they strive to uphold the traditions and the legacy of their people while also protecting the central tenets of their people and their relationship and care for the Earth.

This series was created by Tree Media in collaboration with Oren Lyons, Sid Hill and the Haudenosaunee. This series was created with the support of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and with the support of Executive Producer Oliver Stanton.

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Video - Doctrine of Discovery / Oren Lyons