2019 Doctrine of Discovery Conference Flyer
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Christian Domination and the Failure of ‘Truth and Reconciliation’

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Hi all,

It is with great regret that we have decided to cancel this year’s Doctrine of Christian Discovery (DoCD) conference “Christian Domination and the Failure of ‘Truth and Reconciliation.’” It has been rescheduled for 22-23 August 2020. Of course we will fully refund everyone who has registered for the conference.

As all of you know, our sponsoring organizations—the Indigenous Values Initiative (IVI) and the American Indian Law Alliance (AILA)—are deeply involved with the work of revealing and dismantling the DoCD and we do not want this cancelation to slow any of the momentum that has been built around this issue over the last few years. However, our small volunteer organizations have been involved in some new and exciting directions that require our undivided attention over the next few months. This week we all decided that missing one year of the DoCD conference was unavoidable and that this postponement would not be too disruptive.

In recognition of the 100 year anniversary of the Women’s right to vote, one of our initiatives for 2020 is to focus on the Haudenosaunee influence on the Women’s Suffrage Movement (following Sally Roesch Wagner’s work and new book on the topic). Our 2020 DoCD conference will likely focus on Women and their roles in traditional matrilineal societies and how that has been systematically disrupted by religion. If you have other ideas on this topic or others we would like to hear them.

We will be refunding you the ticket amount here shortly. Unfortuantely we are unable to refund the eventbrite.com fee.

Instead we would like to offer you the following options to covery the eventbrite processing fee:

A coupon to the Indigenous Values store.
A check for the processing fee amount mailed to you. if you would like us to do that please email and give us your mailing address

Thank you for your patience with us and, again, we are sorry to miss seeing you all again this year.

Phil, Betty, Sandy, Gail, Joe and Adam


A conference in Onondaga Nation Territory, at Syracuse University and Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center

Saturday and Sunday, 17-18 August 2019.


This conference continues discussions between religious communities and Indigenous Peoples about the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (DOCD) so that real healing can occur. “Truth and Reconciliation” efforts in settler-colonial states have the appearance of resolving the history of conquest and domination but often do not result in a healing of Indigenous Peoples and their lands. Using words like reconciliation, repudiation, domination, discovery, conquest, missionization, colonialism and settler-colonialism, or referring to Indigenous Peoples in the singular or as populations, issues or groups, has consequences. Noam Chomsky, George Lakoff, and Steven Newcomb remind us that word choice matters and, although these concepts appear benign, they actually perpetuate and give cover to a violent past. The DOCD continues to be a matter of urgent concern for Indigenous Peoples around the world. It has emboldened trans-national corporations to further their extraction practices everywhere forcing standoffs and migration of Indigenous Peoples. Our lineup of speakers will address international migration issues and the connection between the DOCD and the destruction of Mother Earth.


Confirmed speakers:


Conference fees:

Register Now


There are a limited number of scholarships available to cover the registration fee.

If you need a scholarship, please send an email to and briefly tell us who you are, why you would like to attend and any work you do connected to dismantling the ‘doctrine of discovery’ and why you are applying for a scholarship. Please put ‘scholarship request’ in the subject of the email.

If you want to contribute a scholarship for others to attend the conference you can donate to the conference.


Book your group rate for SU Religion.


Draft Schedule

(draft 26 June 19)

Saturday 17 August

  • 8:00 AM — Onondaga Lake Water Ceremony – at Onondaga Lake
    • Meet at pier near Salt Museum
    • Opening address by Tadodaho Sidney Hill
    • Water Ceremony conducted by Betty Lyons and Eve Reyes-Aguirre
      • (Bring waters from your home territories for this event)
  • 9:00 AM — Haudenosaunee breakfast — at the Skanonh Center
    • Orientation to the Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center, Sandy Bigtree and Phil Arnold
  • 11:09 AM — Registration — at Falk College, SU
  • Noon-1:30 PM — Lunch — followed by the film “The Doctrine of Discovery” (1 hour) and a talk with Steven Newcomb.
  • 1:30-3:30 PM —  International work panel — Grant Auditorium, SU
    • Panelists: Betty Lyons, Tupac Enrique Acosta, Eve Reyes-Aguirre, & Jake Edwards
  • 4:00-6:00 PM — Law Panel — Grant Auditorium, SU
    • Panelists: Joe Heath, Steve Newcomb, Dana Lloyd
  • 7:00-9:00 PM — dinner — Falk College, SU

Sunday 18 August

  • 8:00 AM—light breakfast (Falk, SU catering)
  • 9:00-11:00 AM—Religion panel  — Grant Auditorium, SU
    • Panelists: Philip P. Arnold, Adam DJ Brett, Eglute Trinkauskaite, Sandra Bigtree
  • 11:30 AM-1:00 PM—Listening circle on what people are doing about the DoD — Falk College, SU
    • Facilitated by Gail Bundy
  • 1:00-2:30 PM—lunch —Falk College, SU
    • During lunch the Onondaga youth will perform social songs
  • 2:30-4:00 PM—Oren Lyons Keynote, “Truth and Reconciliation” — Grant Auditorium, SU
    • Followed by a discussion
  • 4:30-5:30 PM—Final thoughts and concerns, “Value Change for Survival” — Grant Auditorium, SU