Mary Annette Pember in Rewire: Although the now infamous videos showing confrontations last weekend between a group of Catholic high school students and a Native elder may pale in comparison to the importance of the camps at Standing Rock, the incident provides an important opening to explore the troubling role the Catholic Church has played in the history and lives of vulnerable people, particularly indigenous communities.
"another" one of anti-Catholicism diatribes consistent with "events" that the Mainstream media is so quick to expound on. If history is any indicator (which it is), this has been one generation (20 years) over the course of 2,000 thousands where another "group" attempts to attack and counter with verbal assaults for the sake of increasing secularism to "godless societies" The writer of the article cites the Indigenous peoples an example, but fails to acknowledge that "Avatar" was only a Hollywood movie, and that without the foreseeing by varied Indian tribes and nations of "people from the east arriving", many, many generations today would be altered if "1492" never occurred OR happened later, i.e. 1512, 1517. I can say now, I appreciate the history of "anti-catholicism" to better understand that indigenous peoples, or children are the emphasis or the AIM of attacks but rather disguised as symptoms or occurrences that remind.....people are at error and the truth and faith is in "god" or "the great spirit".
My "elders" were turn of the 19th century pioneers (1900-1940) as dwellers, survivors, explorers, socio-cultural engineers, teachers, motivators, counselors, and renowed tribal members. They established and laid foundation-work for their descendants in infrastructure, government, economies, and the brain-wastes for the Indian Gaming Revenue Act that was finally signed off in in 1988. 30 years of advancement and training all the while never forgetting the past, but acknowledging the FUTURE (1950s-1990s). My experience in the post-WW2 era (1945) and those of use who follow into post WW2 was one of pride and honor to have followed in my grandparent's efforts despite blatant racism, horror (WW1 2), Depression, Health and Welfare, etc. .These were horrid time for the USA and Navajo Tribe of Indians. Yet my grandparents persevered and marched FORWARD though they have every right to roll over and DIE as today's (2019) writers and activists suggest! What give these writers - middle-aged - who have taken EVERY OPPORTUNITY AND ADVANTAGE that the USA have to offer - only to turn around and influence those nativette, "you are taking the wrong path, don't trust the white man, don't trust the Church"! How hypocritical and irresponsible and unaccountable for jetting setting and dwelling to 500 years ago! Our experience with the Roman Catholic Church and the honor and privilege to have indirectly served with an Catholic Saint (American) - Catherine Drexel, Bensalem PA - was a tremendous and of great lives. The Church's influence and service has greatly outweighed the acts of a "minority" by hundreds of percents over. For well over hundreds to the Navajo Tribe, the Roman Catholic Church had established and helped to bring the Navajo Tribe from dishevel of the late 1800s into an USA Americanized society lest it be left behind (as other Tribes had the opportunities, but turned away). Without the advancement into the 1900s, the Navajo Tribe would not have experienced the growth and pattern that it now sees today thanks in large part to Special interests (one of which was the Roman Catholic Church). Within this generation 2000-2020, sadly the vacuum and void left by sound foundations that brought the USA Nation and Navajo Tribe out of ww2 was replaced by mindless and scrupulous expansion and profits of the 1990-2000 and globalism that what brings the nation and American Indian affairs today......divisiveness and racial divide and cultural attacks at the expense of NEW GENERATIONS following, i.e. millinials born after 1980. And they sadly, are watching and listening!
The Catholic Church has apologized profusely for all the things the Catholic Church was involved in that hurt Native Peoples in their history. What do you want from these kids? They were NOT mocking this guy, the narrative has been proven many times to be false. Nathan Phillips and his group went to the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, tried to interrupt Mass, and demanded that the Church give back lands that they have and give reparations to the Native Americans. The Catholic Church HAS made many reparations to Native Peoples. If you think for one minute that Nathan Phillips' type of activism is going to 'educate' anyone about your issues, dream on. The Catholic Church has ministries and outreaches to help Native Peoples and we have a mission to help the downtrodden and disposed. Not give away land and money to shameless shills. I am quite sure that these kids have learned what is in the Church's documents regarding our relationships with Native Americans: No informed person would endeavor to maintain that the churchmen were always in the right, but by the same token no one can deny that they were generally on the side of the angels in their treatment of the Indians. It was the outraged voice of the friar, Bartolomé de las Casas, which first made Europe aware of the fate that had befallen thousands of the natives in enslavement by the Spanish conquerors. As it was the agitation aroused by Las Casas and his kind that prompted Pope Paul III in 1537 to issue the bull Sublimis Deus in which he declared: "The said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ." (American Catholicism, 5) And this, from Pope Paul II: The early encounter between your traditional cultures and the European way of life was an event of such significance and change that it profoundly influences your collective life even today. That encounter was a harsh and painful reality for your peoples. The cultural oppression, the injustices, the disruption of your life and of your traditional societies must be acknowledged. At the same time, in order to be objective, history must record the deeply positive aspects of your people’s encounter with the culture that came from Europe. Among these positive aspects I wish to recall the work of the many missionaries who strenuously defended the rights of the original inhabitants of this land. They established missions throughout this southwestern part of the United States. They worked to improve living conditions and set up educational systems, learning your languages in order to do so. Above all, they proclaimed the Good News of salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ, an essential part of which is that all men and women are equally children of God and must be respected and loved as such. This gospel of Jesus Christ is today, and will remain forever, the greatest pride and possession of your people. (September 14, 1987)
I suggest that if you wish to eradicate hate against Native Americans (what hate? We don't hate you …..well until this incident, that is, maybe) because it simply doesn't exist for these kids. Instead, if one of the Native American group could have gotten past THEIR hate for Trump, and talked with the kids, maybe ASKED them why they were wearing the MAGA Hat, maybe talked about why THEY were marching, then you could have formed an alliance with these kids to gain some support for your issues. Believe me, they would have done that - they are very passionate about righting wrongs and helping the underdog. But no. No, it had to be a media circus. It had to be a damning indictment of all-things-Trump. It had to be Trump Deragement Syndrome. It had to be hate from the NATIVE AMERICANS towards all things White. Catholic. Male. MAGA. Now that this incident has proven to be false and Nathan Phillips proven to be the instigator, I hope you will think about the damage done to your causes because of blind hatred towards US. These boys were pawns caught in the middle of a shameless publicity stunt. It isn't their fault. The Catholic Church isn't going away. We aren't giving any land or reparations back. So those are ridiculous demands in the first place, and very disingenuous. Maybe the Native American community should look at their OWN house before trying this again. Maybe they should, oh, I don't know, clean up the gangs on the Rosebud Reservation that prevent my friend and his parents from visiting their grandma on the reservation. Just a thought. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones - these kids weren't perfect, their chaperones weren't perfect, and I wouldnt' expect them to be, ever. Furthermore, I probably would have reacted the same as then to the novelty of an old Native guy walking up banging his drum and chanting. I am hoping that maybe some local groups (but there were never any tribes that lived in KY, as you SHOULD know because I am sure you know your own history) could come and have a conversation with these guys so they at least know what the big furor was all about. They don't know your ways. You can't expect them to. If u REALLY want to get them to support you in your problems with the government, reach out to them. Apologize for the behavior of Mr. Phillips. Tell them you are sorry they were victimized by so many people. Offer to talk or correspond with them about the issues and hurdles that Native Americans face. These kids don't buy into everything Donald Trump does, none of do. WE all cringe at some of the things he says. But he IS a good person at heart and genuinely wants what is best for our country, including for YOU. Get past your hate and anger about things that happened in the past and reach out to them as FRIENDS. Many of these kids are of Irish heritage - do you know what happened to THEIR ancestors at the hands of the British? Maybe you could form a bond over shared atrocities. But you have to get over your hatred of us, and look at your own house first. Good luck.