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We begin this episode with a land acknowledgement.

In this episode of the Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery podcast, hosts Philip P. Arnold and Sandy Bigtree interview S. Lily Mendoza and Jim Perkinson, both faculty members in Michigan. They discuss topics such as decolonization, indigeneity, white supremacy, and the criminalization of Indigenous peoples. They also touch on the role of Christianity in perpetuating colonialism and the need for a radical democratic framework that embraces diversity. The conversation highlights the importance of understanding the history of religions and the urgent need to protect the environment and Indigenous rights.

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Show Notes

This episode featuring S. Lily Mendoza and Jim Perkinson is a deep exploration into the world of decolonization and the intrinsic connection Indigenous cultures have with the land. This thought-provoking discussion unravels the historical fabric of colonial narratives that have long obscured the wisdom and practices of native communities, particularly around the Detroit area. The podcast delves into the crucial act of land return as a form of healing for the historic wounds inflicted upon these communities, underscoring the significance of acknowledging our collective responsibility to this shared history.

The conversation invites listeners to immerse themselves in the relational connections that Indigenous cultures hold with nature. The Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee traditions, which treat elements such as water with profound respect, serve as an inspiration for all of us to reflect on our own cultural roots and the devastating impact of colonization. This episode also addresses the personal journey of cultural rediscovery, alongside the tragic loss of Indigenous languages in places like the Philippines, reminding us of the imperative to preserve and celebrate cultural diversity.

Furthermore, the podcast navigates through the complexities of Christianities' history, grappling with its darker legacy of violence and the contemporary rise of white nationalism. It critically examines how institutions, including the prison industrial complex, continue to perpetuate racial injustice and economic exploitation. The resistance emerging from within religious traditions is honored, showcasing the courageous alignment with Indigenous peoples against imperialistic forces.

The chapter summaries provide a structured overview of the discussions, ranging from the intimate relationship with the land to the nuanced examination of Christianity and white nationalism. Listeners are presented with a rich tapestry of historical insights, personal anecdotes, and critical analyses that paint a vivid picture of the ongoing challenges and quests for understanding diverse Indigenous worldviews.

This podcast episode not only provides an educational resource but also acts as a call to action for listeners to engage in the vital work of decolonization and reconnection with the land and its original inhabitants. It encourages a collective effort to transform history and honor Indigenous spirituality, reminding us of the profound interconnectedness of all beings and the sacredness of the earth we all share.


  • Philip P. Arnold and Sandra Bigtree, “Ten Religious Themes of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (DoCD) that Contrast with Indigenous Values,” Doctrine of Discovery Project (26 September 2022), https://doctrineofdiscovery.org/10-religous-dimensions/.

  • Philip P. Arnold, The Urgency of Indigenous Values, (Syracuse: SU Press, 2023), https://press.syr.edu/supressbooks/5835/urgency-of- Indigenous-values-the/

  • Mendoza, Susanah Lily L. Between the Homeland and the Diaspora. Philippine ed. Manila, Philippines: UST Pub. House, 2006.

  • ———., and Leny Mendoza Strobel. 2013. Back from the Crocodile’s Belly : Philippine Babaylan Studies and the Struggle for Indigenous Memory. Santa Rosa, Calif.: Center for Babaylan Studies.

  • ———. 2015. Between the Homeland and the Diaspora: The Politics of Theorizing Filipino and Filipino American Identities : A Second Look at Poststructualism-Indigenization Debates. First issued in paperback 2015. London: Routledge.

  • ———., and George Zachariah, eds. 2022. Decolonizing Ecotheology : Indigenous and Subaltern Challenges. Eugene: Pickwick Publications.

  • Perkinson, James W. Messianism Against Christology. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137325198.

  • ———. Political Spirituality in an Age of Eco-Apocalypse: Communication and Struggle across Species, Cultures, and Religions. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

  • ———. Shamanism, Racism, and Hip Hop Culture: Essays on White Supremacy and Black Subversion. Black Religion, Womanist Thought, Social Justice. New York, N.Y. ; Houndsmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

  • ———. White Theology: Outing Supremacy in Modernity. 1st ed. Black Religion, Womanist Thought, Social Justice. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

  • ———. Political Spirituality for a Century of Water Wars. New York, NY: Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2019.


  • 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, “S04E05: Rekindling Culture and Healing History: A Dialogue on Decolonization and Indigenous Land Connection with S. Lilly Mendoza and James W. Perkinson,” Mapping the Doctrine of Discovery (Podcast), May 7, 2024. https://podcast.doctrineofdiscovery.org/season4/episode-05/.

This podcast is licensed under the Creative Commons by the Indigenous Values Initiative.
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