Starting in the late 1800s, Native American children were forcibly separated from their families and sent to boarding schools across the nation with the intention of assimilating them into white society. As part of this effort, the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict operated both a boarding and day school on the White Earth Indian Reservation in Minnesota.
Earlier this year, Sister Susan Rudolph, prioress of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, acknowledged this connection and issued a formal apology to the people of White Earth for the role that the sisters played in this government effort. This apology, a historical overview, and a path to healing from this trauma are the basis of a recent MPR article by Dan Gunderson. We encourage you to read or listen to this article so that we all may be aware of the injustices that happened during this period of our nation’s history, how it continues to show through in today’s society, and how we can move forward together through education, conversation and understanding.
Sister Carol Berg wrote a synopsis of Benedictines in White Earth in our latest issue of Call magazine. The article can be found on pages 26–27.