Speakers Bureau

Looking for a way to animate and further engage your community in the work of dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery? Book one of our Coalition leaders for a sermon, workshop, presentation, or other speaking engagement by videoconference or in person!

Sarah Augustine

Sarah Augustine, who is a Pueblo (Tewa) descendant, is founder and cochair of the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition and Executive Director of a dispute resolution center in central Washington State. She is also the co-founder of Suriname Indigenous Health Fund (SIHF), where she has advocated for vulnerable Indigenous Peoples since 2004. She has represented the interests of Indigenous community partners to their own governments, the Inter-American development bank, the United Nations, the Organization of American States Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the World Health Organization, and a host of other international actors including corporate interests.

She is a columnist for Anabaptist World, and co-hosts the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Podcast with Sheri Hostetler. In Washington State, where she lives, she serves in a leadership role on multiple boards and commissions to enable vulnerable peoples to speak for themselves in advocating for structural change. She and her husband, Dan Peplow, and their son live in the Yakima Valley of Washington. She is author of the book The Land Is Not Empty: Following Jesus in Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery (Herald Press 2021). See this link for Sarah’s extended bio and CV.

Katerina Gea

Katerina Gea is an organizer with the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition, and coordinates the Repair Network of Mennonite congregations and communities. Katerina is also a Mennonite pastor who offers leadership to Wild Church in Fresno, CA, where she currently lives in the traditional homelands of various Yokuts tribal nations on whose lands her Russian Mennonite ancestors settled as farmers. She is a core adjunct faculty member of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, IN, where she has built relationship with Potawatomi peoples and co-led pilgrimages of lament that follow the route of the Trail of Death forced removal by settler militias in 1838. Katerina draws from restorative justice frameworks that she learned from working with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people who compel her personal and political journey toward right remembrance, active repentance, and heartfelt reparation for harm. Click here for publications.

Themes for Presentations

  • How to join the Repair Network (15 min. powerpoint with 15 min. q&a): for Mennonite communities ready to join
  • “Stories of Repair:” hopeful stories of non-Indigenous communities engaged in the work of repair alongside Indigenous communities
  • Immersion into our watershed: reconnecting our faith with the land and water of the place we live
  • The Trail of Death forced removal and learning from Potawatomi people today
  • Truth and Healing in California: Confronting the history of genocide and learning about Indigenous resurgence
  • Jubilee, LandBack and Reparative Justice: a call to settler communities

Dr. Luke Gascho

Dr. Luke Gascho served as executive director of Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, Wolf Lake, IN for twenty-two years until his retirement in 2019. During his tenure, he led the implementation of field-based undergraduate and graduate programs in sustainability and environmental education. Luke’s graduate degrees are in educational leadership and administration. Luke has provided leadership for the establishment of several creation care and social justice organizations. He is involved locally and nationally with organizations addressing injustices toward Indigenous people.

Themes for presentations: 

  • Learning local Indigenous history — with examples from Luke’s learning from and about Potawatomi people in the Great Lakes region
  • Engaging with the land and regenerative practices
  • Teaching about the Doctrine of Discovery and the many injustices that resulting from it
  • Identifying impacts and injustices by settlers toward Indigenous people and the landscape
  • Finding life-giving reparative actions and implementing them

Sheri Hostetler

Sheri Hostetler has been the pastor of First Mennonite Church of San Francisco for 21 years. She is also a poet, writer, activist, mother of a teen son and a backyard permaculturist. Along with Sarah Augustine and Anita Amstutz, Sheri founded the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition. She and Sarah currently host the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Podcast. Sheri grew up in the Amish-Mennonite community of Holmes County, Ohio, where her ancestors were the first white settlers to arrive in the 1810s.

Themes for presentations: 

  • Slide presentation on “How the Past Has Shaped Our Present: The Doctrine of Discovery is Happening Now”
  • Reflections from a white settler, Mennonite Christian — connecting my faith to my family’s past
  • Intersections between climate change and Indigenous justice

Jonathan Nahar

Jonathan Nahar is a Palestinian-American Mennonite who grew up in the Great Lakes watershed, St. Marys, Ohio (traditional Shawnee land). Jonathan was a frontline activist of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Palestine project in Hebron/Al-Khalil from 2012 to 2014. After his time with CPT, he completed a Masters at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. That program included a six-month internship in Cape Town, South Africa fighting for more just land policies. Jonathan was the Israel/Palestine Partners in Peacemaking Coordinator for Mennonite Church USA, where he facilitated the writing, passing, and implementation of the Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine Resolution. Jonathan connects the Palestinian decolonial struggle with those of other Indigenous Peoples, and challenges theologies of domination. 

Themes for presentations: 

  • Christian Zionism and the DoD
  • Solidarity and Indigenous Activism
  • Transnational Indigenous Solidarity

Carol Rose is a pastor, sometimes a poet, always one to delight in earth. This former director of CPT is a longtime worker for a just peace that dismantles colonialism inside of us and in the structures that hold it in place. Carol is a member of the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition and leader of the Coalition’s Protect Oak Flat Campaign that follows the lead of the Apache Stronghold. She lives on Tohono O’odham land in the verdant Sonoran desert city of Tucson, Arizona. Carol is happy to lead anywhere online. In defense of the earth, she seeks to abstain from flying for presentations and events.

Themes for presentations: 

  • Protect Oak Flat: Following Apache lead with prayer at the center of the movement does more than protect one small area of sacred land in land claimed by Arizona. It shifts the center, has potential to change laws that disregard indigenous spiritualities and land, and might just decolonize us, too!
  • Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery – Dismantling the Climate Crisis: The same structures that dispossess and oppress Indigenous Peoples have also created the climate crisis. The thinking and structures that got us into these messes will not get us out. Let’s follow indigenous leadership for a change
John Stoesz

John Stoesz spent 30+ years working in leadership roles for faith-based justice and peace organizations. These include the Dallas Peace Center, Greater Dallas Community of Churches, Metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia, and Mennonite Central Committee Central States. He now devotes his time to two passions: riding his recumbent tricycle and Indigenous justice. In 2012 his family sold his grandparents’ farm in southwestern Minnesota. Since this is Dakota homeland, he donated half the sale amount from his portion to Native organizations working for land justice — most to Makoce Ikikcupi (Land Recovery in the Dakota language). In 2013 he pedaled his trike 2,000 miles through 40 Minnesota counties to raise awareness. He continues to spend significant time on awareness raising, fundraising and organizing among white people, mostly in Minnesota and Kansas, for Native land return.

Themes for presentations: 

  • The Family Farm and Native Land Return: a personal story
  • The Doctrine of Discovery and the History of “Legalized” Land Theft
  • Undoing the Doctrine of Discovery: Demystifying a Mysterious Concept