Our story is just beginning to come into the light

Just in the last 10 years or so there has been a couple of new books that are bringing to light what the Catholic Church has done to our people. Even though the book tells the real truth about what the Catholic Church did to us; it like my words, that will be read only by just a few and in time will just fade away. There is no excuse, in my book or in any other, that the Catholic Church or the pope can give me or my people, or the rest of the forgotten tribes. They cannot justify what they did to us as a race of people. Because of them, we still suffer today. We are scattered to the four winds we have to pay to walk on our own land. Most of our land we can’t even go and visit because of the “no trespassing” signs. But, I think, what hurts the most is that we have no place, in which, we can be the caretakers. Thus which is ingrained in our DNA, our souls, and ultimately is what the Catholic Church has taken from us. When the pope came here, for just a moment, we thought you [all native american tribes] would listen to us and not elevate this priest to sainthood. But as always, our words meant nothing and fell upon deaf ears including this priest. Father Sierra was a monster, a sadist, his whole life, he loved to beat and torture my ancestors and the ancestors of the other forgotten tribes. And still the pope had the audacity to elevate him to sainthood. I know that they invested a lot into that priest, but at the same time, how calmly they could ignore what one man did to an entire race of people. I sometimes wonder if he did all that he did, with the church’s blessing; and this attitude and actions were just something that was a common practice in dealing with natives that they came in contact with. To know that women and children, after they were kidnapped, were forced to march through the mountains to the mission, with their thumbs tied together in a long line and beaten everytime they stopped. Imagine what was going through their minds, not knowing, if they were ever going to see their husbands or their homes again. The terror that they must have felt. I feel some of that every time I read what was done to them once they got to the mission. These women and children were put into a room, stacked I should say, into a place where no one could lay down, no food, no water. They had to go to bathroom in the same space. Remember, we were very sanitary, unlike the Europeans and I guess one of the worst things was not knowing which one was next to be raped by either a Spanish soldier or a priest and praying that it wasn’t one of their children. I know what it’s like to be locked in a cold dark room with no bathroom, no clothes. Being in a cold dark room,with ice cubes and cold water thrown on the floor, no place to sit; this happened to me when I was just 11 years old in juvenile hall, as a punishment by one of the guards. At juvenile Hall I was in that room for 24 hours and to keep my young mind from going crazy I looked at designs in the concrete, I made little people out of matchsticks and food, so yes,I know what itwas like for them. I could feel what they felt and maybe that is why I am so passionate about these words that I write. I do not know how the Catholic Church can call these missions, “houses of God” when so many heinous and terrible crimes were committed on this land and in the making of these missions. Also, all of the mass suicides because of the lack of will to live by my ancestors under the control of the priests at the missions.

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