Thank you to Maine-Wabanaki REACH Board Member Diane Oltarzewski for this exaging post event write up for “Taking on the Doctrine of Discovery: What are our next steps?” Here is a brief highlight from the article:
And then the panel discussions began! Everyone present was there to grapple with what action is needed to effect real change. I heard many wise voices new to me: Freida Jean Jacques (Onondaga) Turtle Clan Mother, speaking against racism and about the Good Mind. Steven Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape), who has analyzed the cognitive and Biblical underpinnings of conquest and domination carried out in North America to subjugate originally free and independent Indigenous Nations. His book Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery is eye-opening and a must-read. Tupac Enrique Acosta (Aztec), who asked “When did light divide into white and less-than-white?” Joe Heath (Onondaga) Legal Counsel, who documented examples of how the Doctrine of Christian Discovery has become encoded in U.S. law over the centuries, differentiating between Native “occupancy” (a lesser claim) and the “absolute title” conferred by so-called discovery. Jake Edwards (Onondaga) who said: “Colonizers are in deep trouble because they don’t recognize their broken heart…we have to put our minds together if we want change to happen.”
A water ceremony was held on the shore of the terminally polluted Lake Onondaga – I’d brought a little jar of water from the Passagassawakeag River to mingle with other waters from many sources, joining in a healing prayer.