Press Release from the Apache-Ndé-Nneé Working Group


14 January 2016

As the result of a comprehensive shadow report and presentations by members of the Apache-Ndé-Nneé Working Group submitted to the United Nations (UN) Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) for the Committee's review of the Holy See, the UN CERD Committee has recognized that the Doctrine of Discovery, the Holy See's Inter Caetera and related Papal Bulls are within the legal scope of racial discrimination under International Law and therefore require redress.

The UN CERD Committee has also recognized in its concluding observations that the Holy See is responsible for the past and present effects, i.e. the ongoing legacy, of these historical racist legal documents, and that, in addition, the Holy See must be in direct dialogue with appropriate representatives of Indigenous Peoples to discuss its accountability.

The CERD Committee has additionally recognized that the Holy See, in its response to the Committee's questioning regarding issues raised by the Apache-Ndé-Nneé Working Group, remarked that a high-level meeting between Indigenous Peoples and the Pope regarding the canonization of Juniper Serra (see pages 13, 14, 27, 28, 30, 34, 35, 38, 48 of the shadow report) will occur at an unspecified time in the future, but that knowledge of such a meeting with Indigenous Peoples has thus-far excluded the Apache-Ndé-Nneé and Working Group, as well as the additional issues raised in the shadow report, such as the the Doctrine of Discovery, the Holy See's Inter Caetera and related Papal Bulls, and the past and ongoing effects and legacy therein. The CERD Committee has concluded that these issues and appropriate representatives of Indigenous Peoples must be included in said high-level meeting.

With the support of the UN CERD Committee and its Concluding Observations therein, the Apache-Ndé-Nneé Working Group holds firm and demand that this dialogue between the Pope and Indigenous Peoples must indeed occur, and must include the Apache-Ndé-Nneé Working Group and the issues of the Apache-Ndé-Nneé, including those issues raised in the Working Group's shadow report, for full accountability of the Holy See and justice to occur. These dialogues must result in genuine redress and remedy and in the establishment or supporting of the establishment of one or more related Truth Commission(s). Moreover, such a Truth Commission must occur with respect to self-determination, historical correction, and the rights of women and all affected peoples therein.

Follow-up by the UN CERD Committee on the progress of the Holy See in these measures will occur at the Committee's next review of the Holy See, as per the Committee's Concluding Observations.

For further questions or information contact:

Michael Paul Hill, project leader and originator of the Apache-Ndé-Nneé Working Group and shadow report, / phone: +1 520-261-7074

India Reed Bowers, legal counsel and project co-coordinator for the Apache-Ndé-Nneé Working Group and shadow report, / phone: +46 (0) 70-283-4808


Apache-Ndé-Nneé Working Group Shadow Report:

CERD Concluding Observations:

Video recordings of the CERD Holy See review sessions, including Apache-Ndé-Nneé Working Group oral interventions:

Transcripts of CERD - Holy See State review session:

Text from the CERD Committee's Concluding Observations directly regarding the Holy See and Indigenous Peoples, as a result of the contributions of the Apache-Ndé-Nneé Working Group, is as follows:

"Indigenous peoples

16. While welcoming the statement made by Pope Francis in the Plurinational State of Bolivia in July 2015, in which he apologized for the actions of the Catholic Church in the context of colonialism against indigenous peoples in the Americas, the Committee notes the concerns expressed by indigenous peoples regarding the current legacy and effects of the Doctrine of Discovery endorsed in the Inter Caetera from 1493 and its related papal bulls, as well as other issues (arts. 2, 5 and 6).

17. The Committee recommends that the State party engage in meaningful dialogue with indigenous peoples with the aim of effectively addressing their concerns. In this regard, the Committee takes note of the information provided by the State party delegation concerning a high-level dialogue that is scheduled to take place in Rome to address the concerns expressed by indigenous peoples, and recommends that the State party ensure that its interlocutors in this dialogue include appropriate representatives designated by indigenous peoples. The Committee requests the State party to provide information in its next periodic report on the outcome of the meeting and concrete follow-up measures taken."

Colonization, dispossession, obstruction, erasure, and domination: a historic map of the currently-named ‘North America’ and more: a vignette of the Spaniards taking gold from Indigenous Peoples. A sea-battle in the Pacific. The British, French and Spanish colonies are all marked, along with the Great Lakes and 'Terra Apachorum'- from 1540-1749, the Ndé fought fiercely against the Spanish overthrow of Konitsaii gokíyaa, known to the Spanish Crown as Terra Apachorum, translated as “La Gran Apachería,” and considered by the Spanish monarchy to be the Apache sovereign territory to the north of Tenochtitlán.


Philip Badiz
01/16/2016 6:57am

Well over due... now how about including all the Monarchs and governments that carried out the Holy See on behalf of the Papal Office and Vatican Bank

01/16/2016 5:43pm

The Vatican must be "denationed", for no legal win can be enforced on any nation without its approval. The UN would be well advised advocate that this occur asap. No religion needs nationhood status, its right to land and its various holdings can be established through the laws in Italy that all other citizens live by. Once the Vatican can no longer hide from its atrocities of the past, it will need to respond to the litany of lawsuits levied against it and be destroyed. Many enlightened Christians are appalled by the actions of the Catholic Church over its reign of the past 2 millenia. The Vatican is not Christian in the least, instead it is a war machine. Christ did not advocate a war against all other nations on earth. Instead, he himself was an activist who fought against the bankers, the Romans hierarchy and the many injustices of his day.

01/16/2016 7:39pm

Its sad that people and churches were blind, and thinking that they were in the right, I think that has biblical insights in that some will think that they are doing God`s will, how wrong were they. You`re either and attractant or repellant, whose representative are you.

01/16/2016 9:56pm

UN has no right to do whatever it do.UN has no Moral (or whatever right ) right to condemn .
UN is part ( a great big part) of the Problem, the Dark Problem that haunts Earth and Creation.

01/17/2016 6:19am

Communiqué to the Vatican: DISMANTLING the Doctrine of Discovery - V Continental Summit of Indigenous Nations and Pueblos of Abya Yala

Theresa Truesdell
01/17/2016 4:22pm

I am an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache tribe. I suggest more research on the true history of the Catholic Church religous and the sacrifices made by them to protect the indigenous people. Sublimus Dei

Pope Paul III (Topic: the enslavement and evangelization of Indians)

To all faithful Christians to whom this writing may come, health in Christ our Lord and the apostolic benediction.

The sublime God so loved the human race that He created man in such wise that he might participate, not only in the good that other creatures enjoy, but endowed him with capacity to attain to the inaccessible and invisible Supreme Good and behold it face to face; and since man, according to the testimony of the sacred scriptures, has been created to enjoy eternal life and happiness, which none may obtain save through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, it is necessary that he should possess the nature and faculties enabling him to receive that faith; and that whoever is thus endowed should be capable of receiving that same faith. Nor is it credible that any one should possess so little understanding as to desire the faith and yet be destitute of the most necessary faculty to enable him to receive it. Hence Christ, who is the Truth itself, that has never failed and can never fail, said to the preachers of the faith whom He chose for that office 'Go ye and teach all nations.' He said all, without exception, for all are capable of receiving the doctrines of the faith.

The enemy of the human race, who opposes all good deeds in order to bring men to destruction, beholding and envying this, invented a means never before heard of, by which he might hinder the preaching of God's word of Salvation to the people: he inspired his satellites who, to please him, have not hesitated to publish abroad that the Indians of the West and the South, and other people of whom We have recent knowledge should be treated as dumb brutes created for our service, pretending that they are incapable of receiving the Catholic Faith.

We, who, though unworthy, exercise on earth the power of our Lord and seek with all our might to bring those sheep of His flock who are outside into the fold committed to our charge, consider, however, that the Indians are truly men and that they are not only capable of understanding the Catholic Faith but, according to our information, they desire exceedingly to receive it. Desiring to provide ample remedy for these evils, We define and declare by these Our letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, to which the same credit shall be given as to the originals, that, notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.

By virtue of Our apostolic authority We define and declare by these present letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, which shall thus command the same obedience as the originals, that the said Indians and other peoples should be converted to the faith of Jesus Christ by preaching the word of God and by the example of good and holy living.

[Dated: May 29, 1537]

01/17/2016 7:24pm

Time to dismantle the UN.

Laurie Buckley
01/17/2016 7:43pm

A wonderful transition of accountability in this day and age...long after those who have passed...yet, we now have a chance to celebrate what was once a tragedy...may now be turned into a lesson to our world, that we recognize what we must never create or allow again. Thank you.

Isabella Colalillo Katz
01/18/2016 12:25am

This is an important and timely story. The Vatican has never taken responsibility for its genocidal policies/positions. Lat us listen carefully to their response.

01/18/2016 4:19pm

Tell the corrupt moribund United Nations to far cough!

Ken Waltz
01/18/2016 10:33pm

Approved!??? I see nothing has changed in four hundred years!

kurt klingbeil
01/19/2016 2:56am

for an in depth examination of the Doctrine of Discovery
check out the Savage Anxieties
In case you have not viewed Savage Anxieties, it is must-see
background and possible workaround to DoD policies currently
active in Kanuckistan.

The Doctrine of Discovery is not just some historical abstraction
It is still alive and well in Canada and is the principal underlying
the Canadian Government's FInal Solution to the "Indian Problem"

Must-watch videos on the details and a possible work around
using international treaties - since no remedy is available within Canada
Exspecially with Harmer and the Boyz who take a perverse pleasure in putting the boots to disadvanted people not within one of their priviledge-cliques.

Savage Anxieties on Youtube:

The pope must not just rescind the Doctrine of Discovery, but to repudiate it and declare it profoundly repugnant to the Will of God and a crime which has deeply harmed millions of people over many centuries.

Based on his recently fiery dressing-down of the Curia, he could really let rip on this.
Declare the Doctrine retroactively invalid, null and void
and explicitly target any secular charters/laws for retroactive evisceration.

01/19/2016 4:46am

It is good that someone is held accountable. Where is the UN demanding accountability of the usa, Britain, France, Spain & the governments established by such? Yes, much evil has been done to us by the various denominations but also some good. the governments above have done nothing but wickedness to this very day. The Cobell Settlement, God rest her soul, was figured out by the BIA--the very people who were found guilty of stealing money & land Where else but the good ol' usa could the perpetrator of a crime compute their own restitution? The sexual abuse was in boarding schools of the government as well as of the churches. The use of alcohol to destroy the Nations is on-going. The persecution of Natives can be seen in the percentage of prisoners versus the percentage of Natives in the general population: 16% v. 6%. The UN declaration to include groups in a spiritual conversation about Fr. Juniper Serra is window dressing until it declares the above governments must also include Natives in all high level decisions of our lands.


The Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon has petitioned the U.S. Supreme court on the land and genocide of our Tribe. It is time to call out the Holy See on the Doctrine of Discovery that the United States still uses to justify the murder and enslavement of the over 2 million Kawaiisu Citizens. I am proud of the United Nations for taking this step in the betterment of humanity toward the Indigenous Peoples. The United States now needs to take action also and the Kawaiisu Case would be a great start.

francis omondo
01/20/2016 12:36pm


Since 1493, when the pope gave the edict of the Papel Bulls of 1493 which takes our land and our lives in the name of God for profit, we lost 100's of millions of lives at their hands. We are still living the life of the Jews during Hitlers government due to the fact that the United States still uses this edict as a primary law to exterminate the Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon. In truth, we asked Pope Francis to rescind the Papel Bulls but he refuses to do that. This makes him personally responsible for the actions of the United States and the Church. He needs to be arrested and held accountable for his actions against the Kawaiisu Tribe of Tejon. Chair David Laughing Horse Robinson

Ginny Mair
11/08/2016 1:00pm

Greetings and salutations Chair David Laughing Horse Robinson, there were scholars in the time that these bulls were conceived that disagreed with them. One of them was my distant relative, Johannes Major, John Mair.
No government or religion has a right to oppress another people.
I am sorry your people have been treated badly.

nancy delaney
01/25/2016 11:50pm

thank you for great work against a long needed to be addressed disservice to indigenous people everywhere by a church that has yet to learn how to apply what it says it believes.

01/29/2016 4:08pm

This is great. It has been legally "recognized" that we were victims. Now: What?
We lost everything we had to loose.

gary caines
03/21/2016 4:21pm

THEIR espousal of HEATHEN beings is a FALSE foundation for subsequent enrichments, whether WE had survived or not. Fortunately, OUR sovereignty survives within our liveliness, at-law, with which we may exercise AND achieve just deserves, via rightful reversionary beneficial titles to STOLEN lands, even if such misappropriation was by undeclared war or conquest. Treatises, like contractual arrangements, make for greater complexity, however conscionable conducts underpin validity and sustainability of them. Modern genocide is illegal and a peremptory norm at international law, applying to most modern nation states. Belligerent status in status quo scenarios may well be a savings grace, either way?!?

02/03/2016 2:51am

Dennis J. Paul
02/14/2016 5:13am

What has happened is worldwide crime of the worst kind at the highest level and over many centuries. Now the criminal/perpetrators have the audacity to think that they can dictate the terms of settlement through their corrupt system. Those days are gone! Criminals have no right to dictate any terms or use their own justice system. We all know they are dishonest and guilty. They admit this themselves. Their legal system is designed to protect them and not their victims so it is time for change and a true ethical system applied on behalf of honest people and victims of crime. This is available now!

02/22/2016 10:33am

As a victim of child abuse commited under the Catholic "rules* I
should have been removed from that home where everything was
done according to Catholic Church.If rules were not obeyed with
the rules of punishment were handed out. 2 brothers were sexually
molested when taken " camping every year with the Catholic priests. I was a victim of spiritual,physical,mentally and emotionally
abuse. Thank the Holy Spirit He rescued me and said I am His


Great article. Thanks for sharing this kind article.


Thank you so much for the great article.


thank you very much gan , the article is very interesting that we can refer to.

05/31/2016 1:23pm

Very useful and precious thing as there is very low ratio of people which are used it. But in baking items use of this fruit is very essential and looks very great.

Brian Bowser
07/10/2016 3:17pm

I Hope this also Includes the Gold that was stolen. If we were not in poverty when they found us, we should not be in poverty when we are recompensed for evils committed against a people. Money is Money, but the Gold was Stolen and must be returned, or anything they give us will be futile in altering the current state of social climate.


The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one.

08/09/2016 7:09am

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08/10/2016 9:26am

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09/21/2016 2:21pm

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AnaMaria Ravines
10/03/2016 3:06pm

"... and Indians ate babies..."



10/08/2016 5:33pm

11/29/2016 2:00pm

I am glad to read this post, its an interesting one. I am always searching for quality posts and articles and this is what I found here, I hope you will be adding more in future. Thanks


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