NortheastAmong other works well pleasing to the Divine Majesty and cherished of our heart, this assuredly ranks highest, that in our times especially the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself. ...With this proviso however that none of the islands and mainlands, found and to be found, discovered and to be discovered, beyond that said line towards the west and south, be in the actual possession of any Christian king or prince up to the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ just past from which the present year one thousand four hundred ninety-three begins. And we make, appoint, and depute you and your said heirs and successors lords of them with full and free power, authority, and jurisdiction of every kind; with this proviso however, that by this our gift, grant, and assignment no right acquired by any Christian prince, who may be in actual possesssion of said islands and mainlands prior to the said birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ, is hereby to be understood to be withdrawn or taking away. Moreover we command you in virtue of holy obedience that, employing all due diligence in the premises, as you also promise--nor do we doubt your compliance therein in accordance with your loyalty and royal greatness of spirit--you should appoint to the aforesaid mainlands and islands worthy, God-fearing, learned, skilled, and experienced men, in order to instruct the aforesaid inhabitants and residents in the Catholic faith and train them in good morals.
Indigenous demand revocation of 1493 papal bull
It was scripted as a moment of high drama. In the fading twilight of Oct. 12, a spokesperson for a delegation of indigenous persons from the Americas approached a Swiss Guard in St. Peter's Square and handed him a document for the pope. It was a copy of the 1493 papal bull Inter Caetera urging that the "barbarous nations" of the New World "be overthrown and brought to the faith."
"On the part of indigenous persons throughout the world, we call on the pope to formally revoke this, which led to our subjugation in the name of Christianity," said Steve Newcomb, a member of the Shawnee and Lenape nations of North America. He asked the guard to inform the pope of their request, delivered on the 508th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the Caribbean.
Then, as ears strained to pick up what could have been words of either defiance or understanding, the guard looked at the document, paused, and blankly replied: "Do you have an envelope?"
So it went for this quixotic band of nine native persons from Hawaii, Oregon and Puerto Rico, who made their way to Rome in mid-October. During their brief stay, Vatican officials were alternately elusive or befuddled in their dealings with this unusual pilgrimage.
The group sought to remind Catholic leaders of the record of conquest, disease and slavery in the Americas, sometimes justified in the name of Christianity. After contact with Spanish soldiers and missionaries in central Mexico, for example, the population plummeted from about 25 million in 1519 to about 1.9 million in 1580. In Haiti, where Columbus directed a military expedition against natives, the population fell from an estimated 3 million in 1496 to perhaps a few hundred in 1542. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_2_37/ai_67328645The first indigenous group encountered by Columbus were the 250,000 Tainos of Hispaniola who were the dominant culture in the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas. In thirty years, about 70% of the Tainos died.  Enslaved, forced to labour in the mines, mistreated, the Tainos began to adopt suicidal behaviors, with women aborting or killing their newly-born children, men jumping from the cliffs or ingesting manioc, a violent poison . They were not immune to European diseases, so outbreaks of measles and smallpox ravaged their population. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas#Original_peopling_of_the_Americas
Scholars now believe that, among the various contributing factors, epidemic disease was the overwhelming cause of the population decline of the American natives. After first contacts with Europeans and Africans, some believe that the death of 90 to 95% of the native population of the New World was caused by Old World diseases. Half the native population of Hispaniola in 1518 was killed by smallpox. Within a few years smallpox killed between 60% and 90% of the Inca population, with other waves of European disease weakening them further. Smallpox was only the first epidemic. Typhus (probably) in 1546, influenza and smallpox together in 1558, smallpox again in 1589, diphtheria in 1614, measles in 1618—all ravaged the remains of Inca culture. Smallpox had killed millions of native inhabitants of Mexico. Unintentionally introduced at Veracruz with the arrival of Panfilo de Narvaez on April 23, 1520, smallpox ravaged Mexico in the 1520s, killing 150,000 in Tenochtitlán alone, including the emperor, and was credited with the victory of Cortes over the Aztec empire at Tenochtitlan (present-day Mexico City) in 1521.
In 1633 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Native Americans were struck by the virus. As it had done elsewhere, the virus wiped out entire population groups of Native Americans. It reached Lake Ontario in 1636, and the lands of the Iroquois by 1679. During the 1770s, smallpox killed at least 30% of the West Coast Native Americans. Smallpox epidemics in 1780–1782 and 1837–1838 brought devastation and drastic population depletion among the Plain Indians. By 1832, the federal government of the United States established a smallpox vaccination program for Native Americans (The Indian Vaccination Act of 1832).