During the week of July 24-30, 2022, Pope Francis made a penitential journey to apologize to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada for the Church’s part in colonial assimilation, removal from families, and cultural abuses carried out in government funded residential schools operated by Religious Congregations.
In the Pope’s words: “I am sorry. I ask forgiveness for the ways in which many members of the Church and of religious communities cooperated, not least through their indifference, in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation.”
In the United States a “Truth and Healing Coalition” has been established working to allow survivors and descendants of Indian Boarding Schools to share their stories and seek acknowledgement of their experiences past and present.
The Dominican Sisters and Associates of Grand Rapids recognize this need for healing in the lives of Native Peoples in our country and our state. Indian Boarding Schools in Michigan were located in Baraga, Harbor Springs, and Mt. Pleasant. May our awareness of both past and present events prompt us to take action steps toward justice, healing, and respect for our Native American peoples.
Land Acknowledgement from Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids Reaffirmed Aug. 5, 2022 at Congregation Assembly
It is fitting that we here at this Assembly acknowledge this Aquinas campus and our Marywood campus as gifts of the Great Spirit’s creation and the ancestral home of the Anishinaabe: the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Bodewadmi tribal peoples* of the Three Fires Confederacy.
These indigenous tribes lived on, built a relationship with the earth, and cared for creation’s gift. Land acres now known as Michigan were stolen from Indigenous Peoples through misunderstood treaties, broken promises, and forced removal.
We lament the violence caused by past actions of encampment and displacement. We apologize for these wrongs and prayerfully support and value Native American peoples and their homeland.
We benefit and appreciate the sacred presence, beauty, and sounds of nature here. Dominican Sisters and Associates of Grand Rapids pray, study, minister, and form community on this holy ground.
We strive to grow in awareness of our debt to native peoples past and present.
* Names now in common usage are Ottawa, Ojibway and Potawatomi