Thomas Dahlheimer

On March 3, 2015, Indian Country Today Media Network, the world's largest Indian news source, published an article by Steven Newcomb, a world renowned Indian/Native activist. The article is entitled, The Quinault Nation and the Claimed Right of Domination .

There are five selective comments to the article. The first comment is by "nonfedindian". The other four comments are in response to the first comment. The fourth comment is mine.

The nonfedindian comment reads: Mr. Newcomb, I agree that Boudia uses a " flimsy premise of Christian domination" when he refers to "The Doctrine of Discovery and Conquest from the 1400's European Law". But he does cite one concept that actually predates the Christian Doctrine of Discovery and to which you yourself seem to acknowledge when you say "Boudia's use of the word "conquest" suggests a RIGHTFUL (my emphasis) triumph and victory over enemy Indian nations." This concept is cited by Boudia in the phrase, "To the conqueror go the spoils and the conqueror is the ruling government." To quote a review for the book, "The Right of Conquest: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice" written by Sharon Korman - "the notion that a state that emerges victorious in war is entitled to claim sovereignty over conquered territory in virtue of military victory or conquest was a recognized principle of international law until the early years of last century." Forget the papal bulls which were written by men trying to use religion to justify a basic human practice that predates civilization and is the basis for numerous well-known idioms. To the conqueror go the spoils. Winner take all. Might makes right. This principle is even shown in the animal world with a prime example from the live-action movie "Chimpanzee" when two bands of chimpanzees go to war over a grove of nut trees. The winning band gets the grove. This same concept has been used by Native American themselves as, contrary to popular opinion, Native Americans were not always the peace-loving entities that revisionist historians and New Agers want to envision. At times Native tribes did war against each other over resources and the winner would then lay claim to those resources.

My comment reads: nonfedindian, We evolved from an animal that evolved from chimpanzees. Early on in the evolutionary process human beings developed spiritual relationships with the land they discovered and lived on. Beginning at this stage of evolution the guiding principle of all human beings should have been: "Do onto others as you would like others to do onto you." At the time, it became a basic human right for all peoples to respect the property rights of other people. Just because this was not "a recognized principle of international law", and the "papal bulls" did not recognize this basic human right, and because some Native American tribes did not respect other tribes' property rights, these wrongs can not, therefore, be justified.

------ Home