The Coalition to Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery emerged from the Mennonite Church in 2014. We are a group of people who work together to mobilize Christian church communities to dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery and follow Indigenous leadership. We proclaim an Anabaptist spirit of discipleship rooted in the call to love of neighbor, seeking right relationship and reconciliation through active non-violence.
We believe that it is now the Church’s responsibility to undo the Doctrine of Discovery in the name of Christ. Join us!
Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, Central States Mennonite Conference, Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, Community Peacemaker Teams, Indigenous-Settler Relations Office of Mennonite Church Canada, Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Church USA, Mennonite Creation Care Network, Mennonite Mission Network, Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference, Suriname Indigenous Health Fund, and Ted & Company TheaterWorks
The Coalition originated within a largely, but not exclusively, white settler-dominated denomination, Mennonite Church USA, and reflects this denominational demographic. We believe it is the primary responsibility of those of us who are white settler-descended folks to dismantle the legal, policy, and church structures created and reinforced by the dominant culture, as well as the attitudes and norms of oppression that dehumanize Indigenous Peoples. We do not ask Indigenous Peoples to carry the weight of teaching, but rather commit to educating ourselves as settlers. We also commit to accountability with Indigenous Peoples and descendants who directly suffer oppression caused by the Doctrine of Discovery and who are still targeted by current laws, policies and social norms.
In practice, this looks like attending Indigenous-led events, workshops, webinars, and learning opportunities to continually be re-formed by Indigenous teachings, seeking the counsel and input of Indigenous leaders on our educational resources (who have the power of choosing not to publish them if not deemed helpful), seeking feedback from Indigenous partners we accompany in structural change work, and doing our own inner work of undoing internalized supremacy as settlers. We do this work so that when we show up as allies and co-conspirators with Indigenous Peoples, our presence is an asset instead of a disorganizing presence.