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Steven T. Newcomb
Shawnee-Lenape Scholar and Author
Respect the Earth as our Mother
and have a Sacred Regard for All Living Things
Steven T. Newcomb Curriculum Vitae
Steven T. Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape scholar) is co-founder and director of the Indigenous Law Institute, and author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Discovery (2008). He is a producer of the documentary “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code” (2015), directed by Sheldon Wolfchild (Dakota), with narration by Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree). He has studied federal Indian law and international law since the early 1980s, has written several law review articles, and has been a columnist for Indian Country Today and Indian Country Media Network from 2002 to 2017. He lives with his wife Paige in the Kumeyaay Nation territory of what is today called Southern California.
This resource amplifies Newcomb’s decades-long work on the roots and contemporary patterns of domination traced back to the Vatican Papal Documents of the 15th century and to the Johnson v McIntosh ruling issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1823 which incorporated those patterns into US property law.
Protocol of Domination Vocabulary
When we delve deep into the way in which these conceptions of domination all fit together, we come up with a list. I won’t read the whole list but it’s pretty interesting because you can take this list of the Protocol of Domination and realize that when you read certain documents, especially with regard to Indigenous history or Indian history, you’re going to find these throughout all kinds of documents. And these are from the papal bulls.
For example, the papal bull of 1452 [Dum Diversas 18 June, 1452; English quotations; Latin original] issued by Pope Nicholas V to King Alphonso of Portugal, instructs or authorizes the King to “invade, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens, pagans and other enemies of Christ ... to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery ... and to take away all their possessions and property and to convert their possessions and properties.” Now convert in that context means to unlawfully or wrongfully take or appropriate that which belongs to another. Then the Pope in the next sentence declares it to be just and lawful because he has to account for him—for them doing stuff that’s unlawful. But conceptually, metaphorically they can just say voila!, and its lawful.
Steven Newcomb: Pagans in the Promised Land presentation, 5 Apr 2012
Tr indicates link goes to Transcript;


The Doctrine of Discovery, Unmasking The Domination Code, with 38 plus 2 productions, 2021.


Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (Fulcrum, 2008,, and in Libraries).

Book Chapters

Domination in relation to Indigenous (‘dominated’) Peoples in international Law,” Chapter Two in, Indigenous Peoples as Subjects of International Law (Routledge, 2017).

Original Nations of ‘Great Turtle Island’ and the Genesis of the United States,” Chapter One in, The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Politics in the U.S., (WileyBlack, 2016).

Other Writings

Communicating Across Cultures, Earth First! Journal, 1996.

Five Hundred Years of Injustice, Shaman’s Drum, Fall 1992.

   Law Review Articles    
   Current Press    
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