Disclosure of Catholic-Run Native Boarding Schools: A Step Towards Acknowledgment and Reconciliation

News Release
Issued: May 9, 2023

Today, a list of Native boarding schools affiliated with the Catholic Church appears on a newly constructed website http://ctah.archivistsacwr.org. The list offers details about 87 Catholic-run Native boarding schools across 22 states.

The Notre Dame Sisters operated a boarding school at Our Lady of Lourdes Mission in Porcupine, SD.  We acknowledge the harm done by Native American boarding schools and we apologize to the people of the Porcupine community.

We are aware that we imposed dominant society’s ideas of religion and race on Lakota people in a way that has caused trauma and violated the human dignity of the people. We participated in the Catholic Church’s disrespectful attitude of superiority towards the culture and spirituality of the Lakota people.

We understand that words alone cannot undo the harm that has been done, but we are committed to making amends, ongoing education, self-reflection, and an unwavering commitment to the truth as it is uncovered.

We will work to create opportunities for healing and restoration by supporting community-led initiatives and participating in programs that address the ongoing impacts of intergenerational trauma. We welcome the guidance and feedback of the community as we work towards righting these wrongs. 

About the Notre Dame Sisters

We are a group of consecrated Catholic women dedicated to serving God, each other, and our world. Through our service and ministries, we strive to meet the unmet needs of those in our community and throughout the world. As we continue to respond to the call of Christ as women of faith and prayer, we commit ourselves to building a global Christian community in joyful, loving service to others. For more information, visit https://notredamesisters.org/.