Christianity and Native America

Why Marquette? |  Hispanic Catholicism in Latin America |  French Catholicism in North America |  Anglo Catholicism in North America |  Native Catholicism Revitalized in North America  |  FAQ  |  Index of Collections |  Access and Services



Why Marquette?

Background: Catholic evangelization of the Americas' aboriginal Indian peoples is an ongoing story of epic proportions. It is a saga on spreading the Gospel for over 500 years and it is a struggle for peace and justice, cultural accommodation, and the development of indigenous Christian faith communities.

Deacon with pine boughs in his hands in Tekakwitha Conference procession, 
		  St. James Cathedral, Seattle Washington, 1993 Signing the Lord's Prayer in Plains Indian Sign Language at Tekakwitha 
		  Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, 1984
A deacon processed before Mass at the Tekakwitha Conference, St. James Cathedral, Seattle, Washington, 1993. Tekakwitha Conference Records, Anne M. Scheurman, photographer. Angel McFarland Sobotta (Nez Perce) signed the Lord's Prayer in Plains Indian Sign Language PDF document at the Tekakwitha Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, 1984. Tekakwitha Conference Records.

With its centralized bureaucracy, numerous religious orders and dioceses, and access to substantial financial resources, the Catholic Church has been able to maintain mission programs on an extraordinary scale. Moreover, a number of its missionaries, especially Jesuits, have had classical educations and linguistic training, which enabled them to create extensive writings on indigenous life and languages, especially as these related to the Church and interaction with officials of Church and state.

Mindful of its mission as a Catholic university, and recognizing the value and preservation needs of Church records pertaining to Native American peoples, the Marquette University Department of Special Collections and University Archives made a commitment to collect and preserve this unique heritage. Marquette actively solicits and makes accessible collections of organizational records, personal papers, oral histories, and audio/visual recordings. Marquette also acquires individual photographs, newsletters, recordings, and other documentation pertaining to Native Catholic activities as well as the products of research that benefited from its collections. Of particular interest are notable "at risk" collections that otherwise might not be saved without outside intervention. Furthermore, the department may accept other compatible collections relating to indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Since 1977, the department has acquired the records of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, the Tekakwitha Conference, and more than 50 other collections, which document over 100 native peoples from Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States, primarily in their relationship with the Catholic Church. English is the prevailing language in most collections. However, some records use indigenous American (Cheyenne, Choctaw, Dakota [Lakota], Ojibwa) or other European languages (French, German, and Spanish).

In addition, the general collection of the Marquette Raynor Memorial Libraries hold over 30,000 titles pertaining to Native American peoples.


Hispanic Catholicism and Native Peoples in North America and Latin America: These holdings document missionary and national activities of church and state. They include the records, papers, collections and publications of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions (Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas, 1870s-ongoing), Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital (Arizona, California, New Mexico, 1900s-ongoing), Catholic Worker Movement (Texas, Mexico City and Chiapas, Mexico and Guatemala, 1980-ongoing), the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters (Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and the United States, 1986-ongoing), the Della M. Flusche (Chile, 17-18th centuries), Dioceses of San Cristobal las Casas (Chiapas, Mexico, 1540-1698), Ricardo Falla-Sanchez, S.J. (Guatemala, 1937-1984), The Indian Sentinel (Arizona, California and New Mexico, 1902-1962), Penny Lernoux (Latin America, 1978-1989), Luigi G. Ligutti (Latin America, 1915-1984), National Catholic Rural Life Conference (Latin America, 1943-1971), Proyecto Pastoral Maya = Maya Pastoral Project (United States, 1992-2005), and Sister Relationship Programs (Chiapas, Mexico and Guatemala, 1960-1980s).

French Catholicism and Native Peoples in North America: These holdings document missionary and national activities of church and state. They include the records, papers, collections and publications of the Julius M. Belleau (North Dakota and Manitoba, 1815-1880), Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions (Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, 1850s-1900), Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital (Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, 1850s-1900), the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters (Canada, 1986-ongoing), The Indian Sentinel (Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, 1902-1962), Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents (Great Lakes and Mississippi River, 17th century), Kisemanito Centre (Alberta, Canada, 1976-1987), Père Marquette (commemorations, 1897-ongoing), North American French Regime (Great Lakes and Mississippi River, 1593-1977), Anne M. Scheuerman (Canada, United States, and Vatican City/ Rome, 1920s, 1935, 1971-2012), and In the Spotlight (January 2009-Catholic ladder pictorial catechisms, 19-20th centuries).


Anglo Catholicism and Native Peoples in North America: These holdings document missionary and national concerns and reflects the westward expansion of the United States. They include the records, papers, collections and publications of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions (United States, 1874-ongoing), The Indian Sentinel (United States, 1902-1962), Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital (United States, 1850s-1970s), Conception Abbey (North and South Dakota, 1876-1980), the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters (United States and Canada, 1986-), Sister Mary Ewens, O.P. (Native women religious congregations in Alaska, North Dakota and South Dakota, 1882-1950s), Thomas W. Foley (Rev. Francis M. Craft and American Sisters in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Cuba, 1871-1900), Holy Rosary Mission - Red Cloud Indian School (South Dakota, 1888-ongoing), Holy Rosary Mission - Red Cloud Indian School Digital (South Dakota, 1890s-1980s), Marquette League (United States, 1904-1991), Osage Mission (Kansas, 1847-1872), Sacred Heart Franciscans (Arizona, California, Michigan and Wisconsin, 1829-1981), St. Francis Mission (South Dakota, 1886-1960s), St. Francis Mission Digital (South Dakota, 1890s-1920s), St. John the Baptist-Santa Barbara Franciscans (Arizona and New Mexico, 1873-1922), St. Joseph's Indian School Oral History Project (Wisconsin, 1883-1980), St. Mary's Mission (Kansas, 1851-1871), St. Paul's Mission (South Dakota, 1867-1989), and St. Stephen's Mission (Wyoming, 1880s-), Anne M. Scheuerman (Canada, the United States and Vatican City/ Rome, 1920s, 1935, 1971-2012), Soaring Eagle - Reverend Emmett Hoffmann Heritage Project (Montana, 1930s-1979) and Tekakwitha Conference (Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, 1939-1970s).


Native Catholic Revitalization in North America and Latin America: These holdings document the renewal of Christian faith by Native Americans and the Church's efforts to aid their pastoral and social justice needs since the mid-20th century. They include the records, papers, collections and publications of the Association of Native Religious and Clergy (Canada and the United States, 1970s-1990s), Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions (United States, 1970s-), Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Digital (United States, 1960s-1970s), Congregation of the Great Spirit, (Wisconsin, 1980-), the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters (Canada and the United States, 1986-), Kisemanito Centre Collection, Holy Rosary Mission - Red Cloud Indian School (South Dakota, 1970s-), Holy Rosary Mission - Red Cloud Indian School Digital (South Dakota, 1960s-1980s), Inculturation Task Forces (Arizona, New Mexico and South Dakota, 1993-2003), Kateri Tekakwitha Project Oral History (Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wisconsin, 1994-2013), Kisemanito Centre (Alberta, Canada, 1976-1987), Herman D. Ray (United States and Vatican City/ Rome, 2010-2012), Honor Our Neighbors Origins and Rights (United States, 1990-2006), Proyecto Pastoral Maya = Maya Pastoral Project (United States, 1992-2005), St. Isaac Jogues Church (South Dakota, 1983-), Anne M. Scheuerman (Canada, the United States and Vatican City/ Rome, 1971-2012), Siggenauk Center (Wisconsin, 1974-1980), Sioux Spiritual Center (South Dakota, 1990-) and the Tekakwitha Conference (Canada and the United States, 1970s-).

FAQ

Historic Directories: Many different types of directories, such as city directories, occupational and professional directories, ethnic directories and church directories are created for contemporary reference purposes, and also serve as useful tools for historical research. More information.

Catholic-related records about Native Americans at other repositories: Marquette's Guides to Catholic-Related Records about Native Americans in the United States describe the holdings of related archival records not at Marquette University. The entries for missions, parishes, dioceses, and the religious institutes (or orders) of men and women also include chronologies to illuminate involvement with Native Americans. Geographical listings divide the current repositories by country, region, and state, and a master subject index includes all Catholic and Native American groups identified in the records and all past and present institutions that have held the records. Native ethnic group (tribal) entries are followed by sub-entries listing only those repositories with record holdings of genealogical value. The Helps section of volume 5 also contains a listing of archival repositories of non-Catholic church records, a number of which contain genealogical value.

Genealogically valuable records in the Marquette Archives: At Marquette, most records with genealogical value are school records, which are restricted by The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Microfilm versions of these records will not be loaned. However, following consultation with an archivist, patrons may use these records on-site in the archives reading room or archives staff will conduct genealogical searches for patrons who submit a completed Application for Genealogical Query.

Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records, Series 2-1 School Attendance Records: These records contain the bulk of Marquette's Native American-related records with genealogical value. Patrons are invited to consult the surname index to these school records, which remains incomplete. Nonetheless, it contains many, if not most, of the surnames found among students who attended U.S. Catholic schools for American Indians outside of Alaska. It provides surnames, ethnicity, two-letter postal abbreviations of the state where the school was located, and the number of the box that contained the record. A few non-Indians also attended these schools. If listed in the reports, they are also included and their ethnicity is noted accordingly.

Surname Index

More information about the background of these school attendance records.

Patrons are also invited to consult Marquette's Guides to Catholic-Related Records about Native Americans in the United States, which includes records of genealogical value at other archival repositories.

Pictures in Native America collections: Marquette's digital collections present a representative sampling of its pre-1980 off-line photographic holdings about American Indians. Furthermore, pre and post-1980 images from several collections are used in PDF pictorial histories of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions and the Tekakwitha Conference that are linked to the respective history note pages of those descriptive inventories. All images (whether or not they are displayed online) are available through on-site visits and special requests with custom scanning as needed. For more information, click "Ask an Archivist".

Reading Photographs: More information to help interpret historic photographs, especially those about Native Americans.

Past research: The department maintains lists of past writings about African Americans and Native Americans that have been researched using its holdings.


Painting of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, ca. 
		    1680
Painting of St. Kateri Tekakwitha attributed to Rev. Claude Chauchetiere, S.J., St. Francis Xavier Church, Kahnawake, Quebec, ca. 1685.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: The Christianity and Native America collections contain many photographs, writings, and recordings about her St. Kateri Tekakwitha and her Native American followers, a number of which appear in the book - Native Footsteps along the Path of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (Marquette University Press with the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, 2012), and the video - The Legacy of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (2013). To learn more about the collections, use keywords "Kateri" or "Tekakwitha" in "Search the Collections" and "Digital Collections". For further information, click "Ask an Archivist" and see the St. Kateri Tekakwitha resource list for K-12 educators.

Access and Services

Marquette welcomes public use of its collections. However, for optimum service, patrons are invited to consult with the archivist before their first use of Marquette materials and thereafter as needed. All original items must be used in the department's reading room whereas most microfilm and many publications and recordings may be borrowed through interlibrary loan. To insure the immediate availability of materials and audiovisual equipment, appointments are advised for all on-site research. Restricted materials are subject to special regulations and are not available through interlibrary loan.

Service Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and evening and weekend hours by appointment. Photographic identification is required for access to the Raynor Memorial Libraries. For further information see General Information and Services and contact:


Mark G. Thiel, CA (Certified Archivist), Archivist
Marquette University
Department of Special Collections and University Archives
R360 John P. Raynor, S.J., Library
1355 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233

Raynor Memorial Libraries
P.O. Box 3141
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-3141

Telephone: (414) 288-5904
Fax: (414) 288-6709
mark.thiel@marquette.edu

ALL VISITORS AND RESEARCHERS ARE WELCOME




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