HAVANA TIMES — Powell River historian and educator David Doyle is travelling to Cuba this month to give a presentation on the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ at the third annual UNESCO World Balance Forum to take place January 28th to the 30th in Havana, states a press release.
The UNESCO Conference for World Balance will debate major world problems and challenges. The event will also mark the 160th anniversary of the birth of Cuban national Hero Jose Marti and will grant the UNESCO Jose Marti International Prize. Doyle, who introduced Louis Riel to Cuba at the International Book Fair in 2012, is the author of The Prophet and the Apostle of the New World, Louis Riel and Jose Marti, as well as From the Gallows, the Lost Testimony of Louis Riel and producer of the video On the Trail of Louis Riel.
Invited back to Cuba for the World Balance Conference Doyle’s main interests is to bring to light the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ and its historical role in the colonization of the Americas. Doyle explains how this feudal doctrine, which is over 500 years old, is still the very foundation of colonialism. It was the Eurocentric ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ that gave Christopher Columbus the right to claim the New World and the Indigenous Peoples for Spain and for England and France, and now the United States and Canada, to claim sovereignty over North America and the Aboriginal nations and peoples as well as their lands and resources.
Doyle explains, “Unfortunately, although both Canada and the United States are modern, mature, countries, the racist ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ remains the foundation of Indigenous law in both countries. It remains the cornerstone of Indigenous policy and continues to hinder true nation to nation relations with the Aboriginal peoples.”
Doyle’s work has been influenced by the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that called for the repudiation of the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ in 2012. The IDLE NO MORE movement has now taken up the call to repudiate the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ through the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples signed by Canada in 2010. In bringing the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ to the attention of the delegates from over forty countries Doyle hopes to prepare conditions for the international condemnation of colonialism and the repudiation of the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ at the Unite Nations Indigenous Global Summit in 2014.
To contact David Doyle write: [email protected]