On a fall evening in the Arc, members of our SJA Antiracism core team hosted a powerful encounter with Mitch Walking Elk, native leader, musician and teacher. Mitch is working with a group of young people who have a commitment from the Vatican that they will be able to meet with Pope Francis. The group from Minnesota (part of a global indigenous movement for justice) is urging the pope to revoke Papal Bulls written in the 1400's that gave European conquerors the right to dominate and oppress the lands and lives of Native peoples around the world. These Papal Bulls formed the basis of the Doctrine of Discovery in the U.S., which essentially made native people tenants on their own land. The repercussions of the Doctrine of Discovery continue to reverberate in civil law and in the culture of our nation.
Mitch and the youth leaders joined us this summer in the gym, and we will continue to be in solidarity with them on their journey. Their appointment has been pushed back from fall to a tentative time in February. As Catholics, we know that we have a special responsibility to continue to lift up this effort, and we look forward to continued connections with Mitch and with these incredible young men and women who - as they shared with us - make this journey not just for themselves but for generations that come after them.
Our thanks to everyone who joined us.