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Connections: October 2022

Jesuit Partnerships with Indigenous Communities

Letter from the Editor
In recent years, the Catholic Church has made a concerted effort to apologize to Indigenous communities for decades of abuse and neglect, most notably in residential school settings. Jesuit colleges and universities are among the Catholic institutions and organizations that have become more intentional in their work to support Indigenous people and find a path toward reconciliation.
A Papal Visit for Reconciliation: Reflections from Campion College
In advance of Pope Francis’ public apology in July to Canadian survivors of residential school abuse, Campion College (AJCU’s associate member in Saskatchewan) facilitated a conversation with the Co-Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee for the Archdiocese of Regina on the significance of the trip and what it means to many Canadian Indigenous peoples.
Honoring Ancestral Land: Santa Clara Reconciles the Past to Support Native Students Today
When Claire Alford ‘25 looked around the St. Ignatius Lawn during Santa Clara University’s second annual powwow last April, she was overcome with immense joy. There, on the ancestral land of the Muwekma Ohlone and Ohlone people, she felt seen.
Holy Cross Spotlights Indigenous Living History Through New Documentary
Through a partnership between the College of the Holy Cross and its local community, “Pakachoag: Where the River Bends," is a new film documenting the history of Mount St. James: land that since 1843 has been home to the Holy Cross campus in Worcester, MA, but was originally known as Pakachoag (“at river bend”) Hill and was home to the Nipmuc people.
The Power of Place
With guidance from its Office of Tribal Relations, Gonzaga University has recently begun to learn more about the Jesuit Rocky Mountain Missions in Montana and Idaho that served as the prelude to the school's origin, to help create a better context of the relationship between Gonzaga's Jesuit founders and local Native communities.
New Bequest Supports Indigenous Students & Research at Loyola Marymount
Before joining Loyola Marymount University as an assistant professor in 1985, Michael O'Sullivan, Ph.D. had trained as a Jesuit and was serving Native American populations as a clinical psychologist; today, he continues to support Indigenous students and research through a new $3M bequest to LMU.
New Marquette Lab Connects Milwaukee to Indigenous History
Last fall, Marquette University launched the Indigeneity Lab: a new program to promote Marquette’s Indigenous undergraduate students’ experiential learning through high-impact, faculty-mentored interdisciplinary research on topics that have significant implications for increased awareness and understanding of Indigenous history and culture in Milwaukee.
Government Relations
Last month, AJCU welcomed representatives from ten member institutions to Washington, D.C. for the 23rd AJCU Government Relations Network and Financial Aid Directors Conference. This meeting, held in-person for the first time since 2019, provided an important opportunity for discussion at a critical moment for higher education policy.
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Connections is an online publication of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), published monthly from September through May. Each issue features original articles on a topic relevant to Jesuit higher education, along with news on Government Relations and AJCU Conferences.

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