“We have the opportunity now to educate the clergy about Native peoples as we are more involved with endeavors sponsored by the Catholic bishops, the Bureau of Catholic Indian missions and other organizations.” (Native American Witness statement at the 2010 Convocation, Notre Dame)
“The Catholic community is blessed, enriched and profoundly challenged by the faith of Native Americans in our midst. We ask the Catholic community to join us n seeking new understanding and awareness of their situation and in committing our church to new advocacy and action with our Native American brothers and sisters on issues of social justice and pastoral life which touch their lives.” (Excerpt from the 2003 "Native American Catholics at the Millennium)
The Tekakwitha Conference represents nearly one-half million Native Catholic members of over 300 tribes and nations in the United States and Canada. In addition Catholic Church ministers of many cultural backgrounds serve the Indigenous population on this continent. (http://www.tekconf.org/index.html).
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. (Address of His Holiness John Paul II, Meeting with the Native Peoples of the Americas, 1987).
Clergy and women religious, who taught and evangelized among Native Americans, routinely submitted photographs to the editors of The Indian Sentinel, 1902-1962. These photographs comprise the bulk of the pre-1970 images in the collection. In addition to images from the Bureau records, this collection contains a small number of images from the Sacred Heart Franciscan Records and the Walter Bernard Hunt Collection, also held at Marquette University.
More than 125 years of dedicated service to the American Indians - that is the record of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions. It was about June 14, 1881, when the Bureau legally began to exist under the general incorporation laws of the United States. (The Bureau of Catholic and Indian Mission http://www.blackandindianmission.org/).