One of [the recent] Letters to the Editor encouraged us to study our history regarding the founding of our country.

    I think that is an important endeavor but I encourage the reader to go back even further to the late 1400s.

     A few years ago I learned of something called “The Doctrine of Discovery”. ...

     This “Doctrine of Discovery” became the basis of all European claims in the Americas as well as the foundation for the United States’ western expansion.

     In the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1823 case Johnson v. McIntosh, Chief Justice John Marshall’s opinion in the unanimous decision held “that the principle of discovery gave European nations an absolute right to New World lands.”

     In essence, American Indians had only a right of occupancy, which could be abolished. ...

     I feel that too often we ignore what has happened to the Native American peoples not only historically but even presently.

     I refer to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota and closer to home the protests at the proposed Gogebic mine site as examples. ...

     To be sure, we can’t undo history but in an era where our state and country are “open for business” we shouldn’t ignore our treaty obligations not only to the letter of the law but also to the spirit of the law.

— Arthur E Baseler
916 Eureka St.

     To read the entire letter, see the Dec.7, 2017 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.