Native Americans

The Latest

Interior view of a stained-glass window of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

Update: U.S. bishops apologize to Indigenous Catholics, vow to address ‘unique cultural needs’

Jun 14, 2024

By Mark Irons

In a document on ministering to Native American Catholics the bishops write: “The Church recognizes that it has played a... Read more

U.S. bishops gather in Baltimore for their spring assembly in 2019.

U.S. bishops gear up for spring gathering in Louisville, Kentucky

Jun 12, 2024

By Zelda Caldwell

During public sessions beginning June 13, the bishops will vote on whether to approve a draft document that contains a... Read more

Black Elk, daughter Lucy Black Elk and wife Anna Brings White.

The hidden life of Nicholas Black Elk revealed in canonization process

Dec 10, 2023

By Martin Barillas

Two Jesuit priests have emphasized Black Elk’s enduring Catholic faith as his canonization process unfolds.   Read more

Image from page 155 of "Young Folks' History of the United States" (1903).

Was Squanto Catholic? What we know about this hero of the first Thanksgiving

Nov 23, 2023

By Jonah McKeown

In March 1621, the chief of the Wampanoag confederation met with the Pilgrims and brought Tisquantum along to translate. He... Read more

Saint Peter's Chapel and Native American Museum at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha National Shrine and Historic Site in Fonda, New York.

Walking in the footsteps of St. Kateri Tekakwitha at historic shrine

Jul 13, 2023

By Isabel Barry

The Saint Kateri Tekakwitha National Shrine and Historic Site in New York honors the life of St. Kateri and the... Read more

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles blesses the newly renovated Mission San Gabriel at a June 27, 2023, ceremony.

After devastating arson, Los Angeles’ famed Mission San Gabriel reopens for worship

Jul 3, 2023

By Kevin J. Jones

“Mission San Gabriel will always be the true spiritual heart of Los Angeles,” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles said... Read more

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City (Left) and Bishop James Wall of Gallup, head of the Subcommittee on Native American Affairs under the USCCB Standing Committee for Cultural Diversity, (Right) at the 2019 USCCB General Assembly, June 12, 2019.

USCCB looks to assist federal investigation of boarding schools for indigenous

Jul 8, 2021

By Jonah McKeown

The U.S. bishops’ conference has volunteered to assist a new federal investigation of the history of boarding schools for Native... Read more

Black Elk, daughter Lucy Black Elk and wife Anna Brings White. Public Domain.

Native American Catholics focus of Knights of Columbus documentary

May 17, 2021

By CNA Staff

The historical and contemporary witness of Native American Catholics are the subject of a Knights of Columbus-produced documentary set for... Read more

Photo courtesy of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

St. Juan Diego hailed as messenger of hope, healing for Native Americans

Dec 9, 2020

The Feast of St. Juan Diego, an Aztec peasant who witnessed an indigenous apparition of the Virgin Mary and later... Read more

The US Penitentiary at Terre Haute, where Lezmond Mitchell is scheduled to be executed Aug. 26.

Catholics pray for Navajo man scheduled for federal execution

Aug 19, 2020

By Jonah McKeown

Catholics are speaking out on behalf of a Native American man on federal death row, who is set to be... Read more

A St. Joseph's student dances in a pow wow. Courtesy of St. Joseph's Indian School.

This unique Catholic school has served Native American students since 1927

Jan 30, 2020

By Mary Farrow

In central South Dakota, along the northern jog of the Missouri River in what one might call “the middle of... Read more

Zocalo de Mexico.

Mexican priest: 'From Spain we received … the true faith'

Apr 4, 2019

Fr. Hugo Valdemar, the canon penitentiary of the Archdiocese of Mexico, said Monday that through Spanish missionaries we have received... Read more

Pope Francis visits Santa Cruz, Bolivia, July 9, 2015.

How popes have addressed the conquest of the Americas

Mar 29, 2019

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico this week wrote to Pope Francis and the King of Spain, Felipe VI,... Read more

Mission church.

LA archdiocese issues pastoral guidelines for Native American communities

Apr 2, 2018

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has signed 17 new protocols recognizing the Native Americans of California as the “First... Read more

Black Elk, daughter Lucy Black Elk and wife Anna Brings White. Public Domain.

Black Elk sainthood cause advances with US bishops' vote

Nov 14, 2017

The sainthood cause for Lakota medicine man and Catholic catechist Nicholas Black Elk took another step forward today, as the... Read more

Black Elk (L) and Elk of the Oglala Lakota (R) 1887. Public Domain.

This Native American is officially on the path to sainthood

Oct 31, 2017

Lakota medicine man turned Catholic catechist Nicholas Black Elk has begun the path to potential canonization with a Mass in... Read more

Christopher Columbus.

Don't rush to judge Columbus, anthropologist encourages

Oct 9, 2017

By Kevin J. Jones

The controversies surrounding Christopher Columbus are sometimes misplaced and should not overshadow Columbus’ Christian motives in his voyages,  a scholar... Read more

Colorado church ministers to Native Americans, homeless, and deaf

Mar 1, 2017

St. Bernadette Parish, the pioneer Catholic church of Lakewood, Colorado, outgrew its first worship space just 18 years after being... Read more

Old church at the Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico, 1902. Photo courtesy of the Pueblo of Acoma.

Catholics join outrage over sale of sacred Native American items

May 30, 2016

By Kevin J. Jones

Native Americans say a French auction house should return their sacred objects set to go on sale, and they have... Read more

Bald eagle feathers.

Jail time over eagle feathers? One Native American's religious freedom fight

May 29, 2015

By Matt Hadro

A Native American tribe leader has been threatened with time in prison for his religious use of eagle feathers, and... Read more