Grandfather Steven T. Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape Nations) is a scholar, educator, author, journalist, film producer, public speaker and workshop leader/facilitator. He is internationally recognized for his more than three decades of research and writing on the origins of federal Indian law and international law dating back to the early days of Christendom, most notably focused on the religious doctrine now known in history as the Doctrine of Christian Discovery. He is considered one of the foremost scholars and speakers on the subject.
Steven is author of “Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery” (Fulcrum Publishing, 2008) and a Producer of the 2015 documentary film, “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code”, and co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute, founded in 1992 and dedicated to supporting Indigenous nations and peoples to protect their sacred ancestral homelands, to restore and revitalize their linguistic, cultural and spiritual traditions and to heal from the trauma of colonization.
CUTTING EDGE RESEARCH FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ LIBERATION:
This powerful and landmark documentary “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking The Domination Code” is a result of the collaborative efforts by Dakota filmmaker and Director Sheldon Wolfchild and Co-Producer Steven Newcomb (Shawnee, Lenape). The film, based on Newcomb’s thirty years of research, and his book Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (Fulcrum, 2008), brings to the big screen an amazing and little known story: The first Christian people to locate lands inhabited by non-Christians (“infidels, heathens, and savages”) claimed the right to assert a right of domination to be in themselves. On the basis of this religiously premised argument, the U.S. Supreme Court has defined the land title of the Indian nations as a “mere right of occupancy” subject to a right of domination on the part of the United States. The first “Christian people” that claimed “ultimate dominion,” said the Supreme Court, could grant away the soil while yet it was still in the possession of the “natives, who were heathens.” Birgil Kills Straight, a Headman of the Oglala Lakota Nation, provides insight into the traditional wisdom and teachings of the Seven Laws of the Oglala Lakota. The documentary points out that the traditional teachings of original nations and peoples form an alternative to the dehumanizing domination system of Christendom.
BECOMING AN AUTHOR
A MOVEMENT TOWARD RESTORATION AND HEALING
The Indigenous Law Institute assists American Indian and other Indigenous communities to work toward a future of restoration and healing. We do this by working to develop a radically new basis for thinking about Native rights, from a Traditional Native Law perspective, and by contending that Native nations and peoples have an inherent right to live free of all forms of empire and domination.
The Indigenous Law Institute is dedicated to supporting Indigenous nations and peoples to protect their sacred ancestral homelands, to restore and revitalize their linguistic, cultural, and spiritual traditions, and to heal from the trauma of colonization.