, 2023-01-06 17:30:21,
Minnesota has a rich history of Catholicism “comes with the fur traders,” Michelle Bixma said, A parishioner of St. Lawrence Parish in Duluth and a member of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Bixma said that many of the concepts in traditional Jojibwe spirituality identify with aspects of Catholicism.
“So early on, you have people who turn very willingly,” she said. It was nothing forced. “Often, even when they come to communities, these Jesuit priests are adopted into families.” Being alone in a frigid Minnesota winter, she said, “If you don’t have someone to look after you and show you the ropes, you won’t survive.”
The subsequent boarding school era did a lot of mischief in Native American communities, Bixma said, “dividing.” One focus during this year’s annual Tekakwitha Conference, an annual gathering of Indigenous Catholics to strengthen their Catholic identity and affirm cultural and spiritual traditions, which Beeksma will discuss co-chairing, is “doing some healing,” she said. “Our theme this year is ‘Gathering for Healing Through Living Water,’” she said, “and this image of water is actually powerful in indigenous culture, but also in Catholic teaching.
The 2023 Tekakwitha Conference will be held July 19-23 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington. The conference began in 1939 as a way for Aboriginal people…
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