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In Memoriam Tupac Huehuecoyotl

Tupac Enrique Acosta Memorial Photo

All right before we introduce our good friend Evie, we have to acknowledge the passing of our dear friend Tupac Huehuecoyotl Enrique Acosta, who was called home to our ancestors.

Tupac, Co-Founder of TONATIERRA, began his work in Arizona in October of 1977, supporting the first large scale strike by “undocumented” farmworkers through the Maricopa County Organizing Project (MCOP). In 1994, MCOP made the organizational transition to the Indigenous Peoples community empowerment movement known today as TONATIERRA. Since then Tupac has effectively engaged with the Original Nations of Abya Yala [the Americas] in establishing Tonatierra ~ Nahuacalli as an Embassy of Indigenous Peoples.

In 1990, Tupac was called upon to participate in First Continental Encounter of Indigenous Nations, Pueblos and Organizations which took place in Quito Ecuador, where he was witness to the long awaited rebirth of our Continental Confederacy of the Eagle and the Condor. The trajectory of development for TONATIERRA was thrust into a continental scope of responsibilities and commitments that Tupac upheld till his final day, working tirelessly to bridge the gap between our Indigenous relatives from the North and the South.

Memorial Essay by Tonatierra Nahuacalli - An Embassy of Indigenous Peoples tonatierra.org

We had the good fortune of interviewing to park during our first season. And we recommend, you know, go back and listen to that interview with him. It would be episode five, we will miss him dearly.

Tupac was a very good friend of the Onondaga and of the Haudenosaunee. He worked tirelessly. He was on the road continuously. And he did work in the Doctrine of Discovery, really, from the very beginning. He was a stalwart in this very trying and difficult work. And it’s going to be a different world without him. He really did unify the Americas or tried with all his might to unify indigenous peoples of the Americas around these various issues of oppression.

~ Philip P. Arnold and Sandy Bigtree, hosts.

Tupac reminds us that the time is now for Superseding the Doctrine of Discovery: World Water One.

Today, just as there is no valid legal, moral, religious or ethical case to be made in defense of the Doctrine of Discovery of Christendom as the theological premise for the continued normalization of the ongoing colonization and genocide of Indigenous Peoples of the Great Turtle Island Abya Yala, operating with purported privileged of territorial claims of jurisdiction over Indigenous Nations territories, neither is there a valid presumption to continue to prescribe and officialize the temporal aspects of the regimes of domination that originate from the same cultural pathology of the “Western World”.


We begin this episode with a land acknowledgement.

In this episode of the Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery Podcast, hosts Phil Arnold and Sandy Bigtree interview Eve Reyes-Aguirre, an Indigenous community organizer and advocate for human rights, women’s rights, Indigenous peoples’ rights, and environmental rights. Reyes-Aguirre discusses the work of Tonatierra, an embassy for Indigenous peoples, in bringing awareness to the doctrine of discovery and advocating for its dismantling. She emphasizes the importance of recognizing the ongoing impact of the doctrine on Indigenous peoples and the need to move towards superseding it. Reyes-Aguirre also highlights the common challenges faced by Indigenous peoples globally and the importance of spiritual and ceremonial connections in the work of dismantling the doctrine. The conversation also touches on the displacement of Indigenous peoples and the environmental and social consequences of extractive industries. The hosts and guest discuss the need for education and awareness, particularly among younger generations, to address the root causes of the doctrine of discovery and work towards a more just and sustainable future.

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Show Notes

Our recent podcast episode presented an insightful discussion with Eve Reyes Aguirre, an Izkaloteka Azteca Indigenous woman, and a fervent advocate for human rights, women’s rights, Indigenous peoples rights, and environmental rights. With her extensive experience at Tonatierra, an embassy for Indigenous peoples, Eve shed light on the Doctrine of Discovery and the mission to dismantle its harmful effects.
Eve shared her experiences navigating the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and highlighted the trauma and impact of forced displacement on Indigenous peoples. She discussed the importance of grassroots advocacy and the efforts by Tonatierra in Arizona, extending assistance to Indigenous farm workers and championing for Indigenous food sovereignty.

The conversation further delved into the intersection of Indigenous identity and climate change. Eve emphasized how our spiritual connection to the land supersedes the Doctrine of Discovery and can inform our fight against climate change. The impact of religious wars in Gaza and the historical trauma it evokes were also explored. The discussion examined misconceptions about religion and highlighted the importance of advocating for Mother Earth and recognizing Indigenous peoples’ inherent rights.

Eve Reyes Aguirre offered her thoughts on settler colonialism and its impact on both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. She discussed Tonatierra’s effort to develop a curriculum around the Doctrine of Discovery, environmentalism, and indigeneity. Importantly, Eve underscored the need to understand false climate solutions that only serve to further displace Indigenous peoples.

The episode concluded with a discussion on how settler colonialism impacts our relationship with the land and how this understanding can inform our fight against climate change. Eve’ insights provided a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of Indigenous advocacy, identity, and climate change, offering a fresh perspective on these pressing issues.

The episode serves as a call to action for everyone to become more informed and involved in Indigenous advocacy and environmental protection. The conversation reminds us of our shared responsibility to protect Mother Earth and uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples. By understanding the Doctrine of Discovery and its effects, we can take a step forward in addressing climate change in a manner that respects and values Indigenous rights and perspectives.



  • Music: Onondaga Social Dance songs performed by Orris Edwards and Regis Cook
  • Producers: Jordan Loewen-Colón and Adam DJ Brett
  • Show notes: Adam DJ Brett


Philip P. Arnold and Sandra Bigtree, “S03E03: Indigenous Advocacy and Climate Change: A Conversation with Evie Reyes-Aguirre,” Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery (Podcast), November 30, 2023. https://podcast.doctrineofdiscovery.org/season3/episode-03/.

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