Doctrine of Christian Discovery Podcast cover photo.

special  · 20 Feb 2024

Robert J. Miller: Property & Sovereignty

Episode 3 Doctrine of Christian Discovery Podcast Special Season

⤓ Download a transcript of the Episode as a PDF // Listen to the podcast on MegaphoneSpotify or AppleListen on Good Faith Media.


We begin this episode with a land acknowledgement.

The podcast explores how a centuries-old Christian doctrine encouraged conquest and colonization of non-Christians – and how its legacies still affect various lands and peoples.

Special guest: Robert J. Miller, professor of law at Arizona State University.

Don’t forget to leave us a review wherever you get your podcasts.

Show Notes

  • Property and sovereignty with legal expert Robert J. Miller. 0:03
  • Sovereignty, consent, and indigenous rights. 3:32
  • Indigenous sovereignty and religious freedom. 9:20
  • The Doctrine of Discovery and its impact on indigenous peoples. 21:03

The episode begins with Miller offering a definition of the Doctrine of Discovery as the foundation of international law and the legal justification “justification for European Americans to acquire legal title and sovereignty and jurisdiction over the Indigenous nations around the entire world.” Using this powerful and brief definition Miller goes on to discuss the Ten Legal Elements of the Doctrine of Discovery based on his careful reading of Johnson v. M’Intosh. As Miller explains how the ten elements function inn international law, Bigtree reminds us that these 10 elements are also connected to a genocidal project of Christianizing the world.


Doctrine of Discovery Project Resources


  • Hosts: Mitch and Tanner Randall, Good Faith Media.
  • Executive producers: Mitch Randall, Good Faith Media; Philip P. Arnold and Sandy Bigtree, Indigenous Values Initiative; and Adam DJ Brett, Syracuse University and American Indian Law Alliance.
  • Producer: Cliff Vaughn.
  • Editor: David Pang.
  • Music: Pond5.
  • Production Assistance: American Indian Law Alliance.
  • Sponsors: The Henry Luce Foundation; Syracuse University; Indigenous Values Initiative; American Indian Law Alliance; American Indian Community House; Good Faith Media; Tonatierra; and Toward Our Common Public Life. We appreciate your support.


Mitch and Tanner Randall, “Robert J. Miller: Property & Sovereignty,” Doctrine of Christian Discovery (Podcast), February 20, 2024.

This podcast is licensed under the Creative Commons by the Indigenous Values Initiative.
This site was created with Stackbit and is maintained by Adam DJ Brett.