Kateri: The first indigenous person from North America to be canonized
UOI Offices, Nipissing FN, Oct. 19, 2012 – The Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee acknowledges that many First Nations citizens are getting ready for the first indigenous person from North America to be canonized by Pop Benedict XVI this Sunday.
“With the long history that some of our citizens have had with the Roman Catholic Church, it is a long-awaited recognition of the role that Kateri Tekakwitha played in being a spiritual role model and now a Saint,” says Grand Council Chief Madahbee. “It is well-known that some First Nations people talk to their ancestors so now the faithful will have a special Saint to rely on.”
Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as the “lily of the Mohawks”, was born in 1656 in the Mohawk community of Ossernenon and served in a Catholic mission near present day Kahnawa:ke. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1980, and she has been honoured by the Catholic Church as the patroness of ecology, nature, and the environment.
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.
For further information:
Marci Becking, Communications Officer
Phone: 705-497-9127 ext. 2290
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