Meet the new Mohawk saint

A reader named Dan sent in this tip, telling me that the Roman Catholic Church is about to pressgang their very first Aboriginal saint into service. Kateri Tekakwitha, who was baptized at age 20, declared herself God’s wife, fasted and self-flagellated and slept on thorns, and evangelized Christianity to her fellow Mohawks. And now, three hundred and fifty-odd years after she died, she’s apparently curing little boys of flesh-eating disease.

In 2006, a Washington State boy, about five years of age, hurt himself while playing basketball.
The young boy bumped his chin on the ground and ended up contracting Flesh Eating Disease.

Unfortunately, the only treatment for the disease is amputation and the doctors had gotten to a point where they couldn’t do anything for the boy after removing much of his face.

Eventually a priest was brought in to anoint the boy for healing purposes and then spoke with the parish, asking them to pray to Kateri, who is known as a healer.

[Read more…]

UN to Canada: “If you won’t investigate Aboriginal women’s murders, we will”

Via a press release by Native Women’s Association of Canada, evidently the United Nations will be stepping in to investigate the significantly higher murder rates of Aboriginal women in Canada after law enforcement has essentially failed to adequately investigate.

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has decided to conduct an inquiry into the murders and disappearances of Aboriginal women and girls across Canada. The Committee, composed of 23 independent experts from around the world, is the UN’s main authority on women’s human rights. The Committee’s decision was announced today by Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), and Sharon McIvor of the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA).
[…]

[Read more…]

Think of the children!! (Donors Choose – Last Big Push)

Folks, the Donors Choose campaign is almost over, and while your generous contributions are flowing freely, there’s a lot of projects that are still as yet unfunded. Like this one that caught my eye early on and I’d really love to see happen even though it’s less science or mathy than my usual picks. It involves getting kids active, teaching them an important part of Native American history, and all the benefits that come from learning to work together as a team:

We are requesting the equipment needed to run Native Games. Teaching traditional sports such as Lacrosse will not only allow the students to build upon their teamwork and communication skills, but also to be given a chance to recognize the historical and cultural aspect of the sport itself. Another example of Native games that will be played is the traditional Eskimo Olympic games which will be not only challenging, but will teach the students about patience, following directions, and leadership qualities. With a curriculum that provides a full year’s worth of diversity in Native games, and with enthusiastic staff and students, all that we need is equipment.

Having the equipment to run our Native Games curriculum can be life changing. Most of our students are still trying to find their place in the world, and the Native games curriculum will focus on the development of our students’ identity and community building skills through the incorporation of a long history and culture that has much to share.

The Native Games project needs $236 still. Can you help make it happen?

Or this one, for the less sports-inclined, unless you’re into full contact chess: a project called Checkmate.

I have played chess for several years and I am excited to play chess with students in middle school. They love games and competition. Chess is an awesome way to challenge students to maximize their critical thinking and encourage a more active participation in math and science.

My students are in a high poverty inner city area. Chess sets are a luxury that their parents would not be able to provide for them. My students are enthusiastic learners and are challenged by hands on activities. Self discipline and structure needs to be encouraged through their active participation in this strategic game.

Dip into your chess tournament winnings and sponsor this project, they have $178 to go.

Or this one, which looks like it will have high impact in a needy area. Give to Scientific Fun Is Scientastic:

Have you ever wondered why about things? Science opens up a whole new window of whys.

My students are inquisitive, bright third graders. They attend their neighborhood school. They love their school, and they have great school spirit. Our school is a Title I school and 97% of the students are impoverish, but the students are eager to learn.

Hands-on activities make learning fun. Students will engage in experiments using science activities, magnets, eyedroppers, magnifiers, thermometers, and writing journals. These tools will help students discover the answers to their questions in a “scientastic” fun way.

And this project would be an awful shame if it doesn’t get the $129 it needs in the next two days — yes, they’re time limited!

If you can give, please do so. These kids deserve it. If you can’t give, direct this page to someone who can. If the idea of giving kids in impoverished areas the tools needed to learn to work in a team, learn to use logic and math, and discover the scientific method isn’t enough, I’ll tell you what. Anyone who donates from now onward to these three projects can officially claim the title of Honorary Canadian.

(This title grants you nothing but the ability to make certain classes of people in the United States want to beat you up. But it’s yours!)