Alma Ransom: Tekakwitha was a holy person for Mohawks

"It seems like no one realizes that Tekakwitha lived a full life of learning and practicing our traditional culture and knew how to survive before she became a Catholic. There were missionaries who had learned our language and dialects among the Iroquois and she learned their prayers. At the age of 20, a Mohawk woman is very strong in her ways and determined when making a decision.

Consider my remarks for those people that might want to imply that Tekakwitha was abused or forced by the Missionaries as a child. She lived a full traditional life among our people. Growing up she was strongly supervised and groomed by her aunts and women of the village as all Indian women are taught. In Mohawk, mothers are Ista, aunts are Ista and also God-mothers are Ista (all mother figures to a child) so no one grows up an orphan. Tekakwitha was under the watchful eyes and care of Istas and she learned many things from all of them to be a model child of the Chief (her Uncle) so she had to know many things. She had to learn by example and practice thoroughly so that she could teach others."

Get the Story:
Alma Ransom: Tekakwitha Acted of Her Own Free Will (Indian Country Today 3/18)

Another Opinion:
Ray Cook: Mohawk Kateri Tekakwitha Will Become Saint This Fall; Media Looks for Predicted Mixed Reactions (Indian Country Today 3/18)

Related Stories:
Takeaway: Kateri Tekakwitha to be first Native woman saint (02/14)
Opinion: Kateri Tekakwitha could have been 'spiritual hybrid' (1/19)
Kateri Tekakwitha, Mohawk woman, to be canonized as saint (1/9)

Join the Conversation