In this Book
- Indian Pilgrims: Indigenous Journeys of Activism and Healing with Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
- Published by: University of Arizona Press
- Series: Critical Issues in Indigenous Studies
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Indian Pilgrims examines Saint Kateri’s influence on and relation to three important themes: caring for the environment, building community, and reclaiming the Native feminine as sacred. In Indian Pilgrims, Michelle M. Jacob brings a Native feminist perspective to the story of Saint Kateri. The book demonstrates the power and potential of Indigenous decolonizing activism, as Saint Kateri’s devotees claim the space of the Catholic Church to revitalize traditional cultural practices, teach and learn Indigenous languages, and address critical issues such as protecting Indigenous homelands from environmental degradation. The book is based on ethnographic research at multiple sites, including Saint Kateri’s 2012 canonization festivities in Vatican City and Italy, the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation (New York and Canada), the Yakama Reservation (Washington), and the National Tekakwitha Conferences in Texas, North Dakota, and Louisiana. Through narratives from these events, Jacob addresses issues of gender justice—such as respecting the autonomy of women while encouraging collectivist thinking and strategizing—and seeks collective remedies that challenge colonial and capitalist filters.