Native American Ministry
“Pray that God will give you good hands, good eyes, good ears, so that you will truly be able to feel, to see, to hear. Only then will you be able to understand the spiritual ways of the Indian People.”-- Velma Cayou, Swinomish (From Beginnings, Twohy)
Since Eusebio Kino, SJ traveled thousands of miles on horseback establishing parishes along the Rio Grande in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Jesuits have worked with Native Americans. Today, Jesuits in many parts of the U.S. minister with native peoples. In particular, Jesuits from the Oregon and Wisconsin Provinces work from coastal Alaska to the Dakotas in schools and parishes. Additionally, Jesuit ministry includes training and empowerment of deacons and other ministers from native communities, for example at the Kateri Northwest Institute in Spokane, WA, and the Sioux Spiritual Center in Howes, South Dakota.
- The Heritage Center of Red Cloud Indian School opened as a museum in 1982. It offers to the public – local, national, and international – an outstanding collection of Native American fine arts and Lakota tribal arts, located on the main campus of Red Cloud Indian School.
- The American Indian Entrepreneurship (MBA/AIE) program was established in 2001 to prepare leaders to effectively manage and support sustainable business on American Indian reservations.
- Kateri NW Ministry Institute started in 1989 to empower Native Americans to minister to their own people and continue their Catholic identity.
- Red Cloud Indian School / Holy Rosary Mission became the first Catholic Indian Mission on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1888. The school later honored the name of this great Lakota leader, becoming Red Cloud Indian School. For more than a century, Red Cloud Indian School has sought to give the Lakota students the skills they need to compete in a larger society while retaining the traditional values of their Lakota heritage.
- Rocky Mountain Mission (RMM) ministers to Native American Peoples in parishes throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana and through the Kateri NW Ministry Institute.
- Sioux Spiritual Center reflects the ongoing dedication of the Rapid City Catholic Diocese and the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus to the spiritual and social well-being of the Lakota people.
- The Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum in St. Francis, South Dakota demonstrates the Mission’s enduring respect for the traditions, culture, and history of the Lakota of the Rosebud Reservation.
For more information on museums in South Dakota celebrating Lakota arts and culture, please visit The Heritage Center Museum, which includes a primary collection with over 2,000 Lakota tribal arts (historical and current); and the The Buechel Memorial Lakota Museum, with collections, exhibits and research related to Lakota history, culture and life.