How I Discovered I Was a White Settler

Sheri talks about how she “discovered” the Doctrine of Discovery and how her family’s history is entwined with the history — and present reality — of colonization. She unpacks the famous “Hochstetler Indian Massacre” story that is well-known in Amish and Mennonite communities. Both Sarah and Sheri address “What is settler colonialism”?

Links to sources for this episode:

As always, for more information please consult and Sarah’s book This Land is Not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery.

Reverence vs. Faith, Part Two

Sarah and Sheri continue the discussion of an Indigenous cosmology versus the Western worldview and how that impacts our Christian faith and practice.

Reverence vs. Faith

Sarah and Sheri talk about Indigenous cosmology and how it differs from the Western worldview in ways that have led directly to our dominant culture having a distorted relationship with nature, with creation, and with the processes of life. Sarah constructs an Indigenous theology of creation based on Scripture. We talk about the difference between individual and structural sin, as taught by the Hebrew prophets and as interpreted through the rabbi Jesus. We contrast Indigenous cosmology and the prophetic vision with the “systems of death” that now run our world.

The Doctrine of Discovery and Me, Part Two

Sarah and Sheri continue to explore how Sarah discovered the Doctrine of Discovery and its impact on her life. Sarah tells the story about how she ended up working with the Indigenous Wayana people from the Guyana Shield in South America, who were being poisoned by mercury from gold mining and had no legal recourse to end this, due to the Doctrine of Discovery. She also tells the story of her father, who grew up in a religious boy’s school, and how she connected his story to that of thousands of Indigenous children who were placed in Indian boarding schools.


For more information, go to, the website of the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition.

The Doctrine of Discovery and Me

During this episode, Sarah and Sheri explore how Sarah “discovered” the Doctrine of Discovery and its traumatic impact on her life and on the lives of other Indigenous people. They talk about how this trauma didn’t just happen but was intentionally planned by the U.S. government through different eras of federal Indian policy that systematically dispossessed Native people of their land.

Sources for this episode:

Why Are We Doing This Podcast?

In this introduction episode hosts Sheri and Sarah share about themselves, their faith, their friendship and why they continue to work at dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery. Stay tuned every other week for new episodes.