In this podcast, an Indigenous woman and a white settler woman — both Anabaptists — uncover the deep structure of colonization that systematically deprives Indigenous Peoples of their human rights today. This deep structure — called the Doctrine of Discovery— is rooted in church doctrines that originated in the15th century and that still justify current laws and policies that justify the removal of land from Indigenous Peoples.
Together, Sarah Augustine and Sheri Hostetler started a coalition of Anabaptist people of faith that seek to dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery. Sarah is an activist and scholar, the descendant of the Tewa People, and a displaced person. Sheri is a Mennonite pastor in San Francisco and an activist.
Episode 21: Ask an Indian - Part 2
In round two of this episode, Sarah answers more listener questions, including:
I was in a meeting where someone used the phrase “off the rez,” and I noticed that you (Sarah) as the only Native person in the meeting were actually less offended by this phrase than other folks were. Can you say more about your response?
How do white people know which "side" to take when Indigenous communities are divided around an issue? For example, some tribes, or people within them, are supportive of a tribe seeking federal recognition and some are not. Or some are supportive of a development project, but others are not.
When Indigenous peoples want land return, does that mean they want to kick me out of my house? Do they want me to leave the country or something?
We want your questions, especially those you might feel too embarrassed to ask “out loud.” Please submit any questions to Sheri at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can even do so anonymously, if you wish. And, for more information on donating land to local Native tribes or proceeds from a land sale to Indigenous justice organizations, please contact John Stoesz at email@example.com and check out this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwkW5AZgddc) for his story of land return.
Episode 20: Ask an Indian - Part 1
In this recurring episode, Sarah answers questions from listeners. Questions include:
What is the deal about dressing up like and Indian? Why is that offensive?
What do Native people think about Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, etc.?
Many white settlers look to Indigenous People for ideas about how to connect with the land and live more sustainably. But Indigenous people have been so assimilated – what wisdom do they actually have to offer the larger culture?
We want your questions, especially those you might feel too embarrassed to ask “out loud.” Please submit any questions to Sheri at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can even do so anonymously, if you wish.
Episode 19: Vision
In this episode, Sarah and Sheri talk about Sarah’s “100-year vision” for the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition. Sarah will begin as the full-time Executive Director of the Coalition on July 1.
To contribute to Sarah’s salary campaign, please go here (https://dofdmenno.org/salary-campaign/). Every dollar you donate will be matched by Sheri’s congregation, First Mennonite Church of San Francisco, through Indigenous Peoples Day of this year (October 10).
Episode 18: Conservation and Decolonization
It’s almost summer and many of us will be traveling to the U.S.’s national parks for vacation and recreation. In this episode, Sarah and Sheri talk about how the formation of our national parks, the conservation movement that inspired their formation, and colonization have gone hand in hand. They also talk about how conservation could be decolonized.
For more information:
Link to The Atlantic article, “Return the National Parks to the Tribes” by David Treuer
Statistics from Cultural Survival can be found here.
Episode 17: Redistricting and the Doctrine of Discovery
In this episode, Sarah and Sheri talk about Sarah’s experience of serving as chair of the Washington State Redistricting Commission and the impact of that redistricting process on Native people.
Episode 16: Beyond Electric Cars and Renewable Energy
In this episode, Sarah and Sheri talk about why renewable energy and electric cars and green growth won’t save us – and how these things are linked to the same extractive, dominating worldview of the Doctrine of Discovery.
For more information:
Link to Jason Hickel’s book Less is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World - https://www.jasonhickel.org/less-is-more
Link to Jason Hickel’s article, “Degrowth is About Global Justice” - https://www.resilience.org/stories/2022-01-07/degrowth-is-about-global-justice/?mc_cid=cf9bf47bad&mc_eid=85fe19af5d
See chapters 7 and 8 of Sarah’s book, This Land Is Not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery for more information on extraction and the impact it has on Indigenous communities. - https://www.mennomedia.org/9781513808291/the-land-is-not-empty/
See this article about exponential growth and how our ignorance of it causes problems from how we deal with COVID to the climate crisis. - https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2020/07/16/Exponential-Growth-Proving-Lethal/
This video talks about the difficulty of electrifying all sources of transportation, such as rail, shipping and air. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqSV06Bxcm8
This article talks about the growing scarcity of sand, which is the world’s most consumed raw material after water. - https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/05/sand-shortage-the-world-is-running-out-of-a-crucial-commodity.html
See this article for information about the San Carlos Apache’s fight to save Oak Flat from copper mining. - https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/04/12/oak-flat-apache-sacred-land/
This article talks about the “decoupling delusion” – that is, decoupling GDP growth from resource and energy use. - https://theconversation.com/the-decoupling-delusion-rethinking-growth-and-sustainability-71996
Voices I need to hear
I’m so pleased to hear Sarah and Sheri talk about their reasons for beginning this podcast, and I’m looking forward to hearing the next, very soon!