Sunday, June 15
Our first stop is at the Kateri Center of Chicago. The St. Kateri Center of Chicago is a ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago. It serves a community of American Indian Catholics through faith formation and Native traditional prayer. At the Kateri Center we meet with Jolene Aleck, director of the Chicago American Indian Education Program – Title VII, to learn about the Center’s resources and outreach to the Chicago American Indian community. The Center serves roughly 800 school-aged children through its programming. Its reading room provides a wide range of books for and about American Indians, some written in English and others in native languages.
We enjoy a flute performance by musician Bill Allison. Additionally, our colleague Tasha Keyes, from the University of Chicago, has arranged for us to meet with alumni from one of the tribal colleges we will visit in South Dakota. We are hosted to a delicious lunch while the alumni share insights about their experiences at their alma mater, life on the reservation, and influences which led them to live in Chicago. Gaining their impressions about the differences between life in a big city and life back home on the reservation is enlightening and informative as our group begins its journey.