We were at a Knights of Columbus Pancake Breakfast at St. Mary’s on 2Oth St.in Saskatoon. Three generations of pink and brown Caswells occupied one table. There are lots of natives in that area and a lot of Catholic natives. I asked why aren’t many Indians here? They like pancake breakfasts. Every winter carnival has one. The reply was “ When Indians go to St. Mary’s they are shoved off to Our Lady of Guadalupe Centre.” This is a centre run by nuns. Since they do smudging as part of the Mass I never go there for any reason. Philippinoes , Vietnamese, Africans, comfortably fit in with the Poles and Ukrainians at St. Mary’s. Why can’t Indians fit in as well?
The answer is white Native- Studies people and Professional Indians have determined what is native culture and they insist that individual Indians don’t understand what is good for them. Being a victim is okey. Being a drunk panhandling near St. Mary’s is okey. Wanting to be a practising Catholic and an individual is not acceptable. Indians have to be called First Nation aboriginals. Being Joe, Maggie, Mr. Cook. Mrs. Enanew, Angelique, Bella or Obadiah is not enough.
I have been on reserves all over Saskatchewan, have almost always lived in urban and rural native or native- mixed communities. I had never encountered smudging, drumming,praying to four winds , back of the Turtle stuff as part of Protestant, Evangelical, or Catholic worship. Like the residential school debate no public debate was allowed,. Natives who wanted to tell their side of the story on the good of their education were and are treated with disdain, silenced, physically threatened and punished by withdrawal of services.
Natives who know there is such a thing as witchcraft, hexes , curses and know that Christians of all denominations must avoid these things are called, even by some clergy, crazy , ignorant, and not nice. I have even been threatened by excommunication by some Le Pas gurus.
As reported at a Mass there was a week long meeting in which bishops of Saskatchewan decided their priorities. It was decided that the number one priority is to incorporate “ native spirituality” into worship. Actually the meeting was totally unnecessary. Catholic priority is already defined in the end of St. Matthew when Jesus says “ Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” Pushing neo-paganism on a group of people isn’t even on the list. There are two kinds of spirituality. Judeo-Christian spirituality and demonic spirituality. If you are a Christian you want to practise Christian spirituality whether you are Arabic, Swahili, or Eskimo. If you are not a Christian you are influenced by demonic spirituality whether you want to be or not.
Saskatoon has more crime than any city in Canada. Northern Saskatchewan has more crime per capita than any other area in Canada. New- Age- with- Feathers just isn’t cutting it as a moral basis for life. It is very much like a marijuana culture. That includes indifference, irrationality, disdain and contempt for others, lack of compassion and inability to make logical or moral decisions. When people use marijuana they don’t see the harm that it is doing them, They think other people are harming them. Clergy and professionals who dabble or promote paganism can’t see what it has done to their Faith, their commitment to Catholicism
Truth and how cruel they are to people, brown or pink coloured who disagree with them. Gay