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“Mother Earth’s Pandemic: The Doctrine of Discovery” will offer panel discussions and perspectives from indigenous peoples in a virtual conference from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on August 6, 13 and 20. Panel discussions will feature activists such as Tink Tinker and a keynote by Turtle Clan Faithkeeper and Syracuse University’s first native graduate, Oren Lyons. Panel discussions will be followed by small group discussions.

Registration is available here. It is open to the public and participants can attend one virtual conference for $10, two for $30 or all three for $50.

The “Doctrine of Discovery,” better described as the “Doctrine of Christian Discovery and World Domination,” established the worldview that not only brought devastation to the natural world but also impaired the ability for human beings to live in proper relationship with the Earth.

Fifteenth century Papal Bulls, issued by the Vatican, justified the assault upon indigenous peoples as an artificial justification to take possession of their bodies, lands and resources in order to finance their New World Order. This worldview advanced the Age of Discovery as an extension of the Crusades and was the conceptual framework behind the Protestant Reformation, the establishment of Nation States around the world and later secularized to define colonialism, white supremacy and global capitalism.

The conference will examine how the doctrine of discovery is influencing public discourse even today. “It is a unifying piece of our shared history that explains quite a lot about why we are in the kind of very turbulent moments that we are right now,” says Philip Arnold, associate professor and chair of the Religion Department at Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. “It is something that connects many of the issues around legal issues, the environment, even religion.”

If you are interested in attending one, two or all three sessions, please contact Sarah Signorino,

Submitted by: Sarah Signorino, director, Office of Mission & Identity