Sisters of St. Francis teams up with Dakota tribe in land acknowledgement ceremony

Published: Oct. 5, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – For the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the public was welcomed to Assisi Heights for a land acknowledgement ceremony.

“What’s the history of it?” said Sister Marlys Jax. “How does our history intermingle with the indigenous people?”

Custom Dakota traditions, like smudging, were offered to the audience.

The event concluded with a burial of what the sisters called the sins of the past committed by settlers onto indigenous people.

The sisters planted over those buried sins as a way of symbolizing the growth to be had between Minnesota’s native tribes and the catholic faith.

“A part of the land acknowledgement, a part of the apology is a part of the healing that we need to do as a Dakota people for all the things that have happened to us,” said Dakotan and event organizer Valerie Guimaraes.