Indianz.Com Video by Kevin Abourezk: Solidarity Rally Held for Omaha Elder Taunted in D.C.

Mary Annette Pember: #MAGA youth and the Catholic Church's legacy in Iudian Country

The mainstream and conservative media had a field day with the #MAGA incident at the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C., last month.

But few pieces examined the relationship between the Catholic Church and Native Americans. Reporting for Rewire.News, independent journalist Mary Annette Pember looks deeper into this troubled history:
The last time Native peoples figured so highly in the mercurial legacy media cycle was during the events at Standing Rock, when water protectors spent months opposing construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

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.

The mocking and disrespect of Nathan Phillips, an elder of the Omaha Nation, has put into sharp focus the violent behavior routinely found at Catholic schools like Covington Catholic High School—behavior that is in many ways an extension of the violence perpetrated by the Catholic Church against marginalized populations since the colonization of Native lands.

It’s likely that the students have learned little about the Doctrine of Discovery, the papal law that permits violence against Native peoples who refuse to convert to Christianity, or the Catholic Church’s role in brutally colonizing Native children in Indian boarding schools. This may seem like ancient history to a group of high school boys unaccustomed to examining the implication of their public actions. The Covington Catholic boys, however, will grow into leaders in their church and community. If they are to lead the way forward, they will need to work toward a true reckoning with the Church’s—and their school’s—unsavory past. That is, after all, the context in which their actions took place. It’s time they learn the whole truth of this history.

Read More on the Story
Mary Annette Pember: What Covington Catholic Students Should Know About the Church’s History With Indigenous People (Rewire.News January 25, 2019)

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