My wife lost her uncle Kae-Kaek Morin last week. The family wants a Catholic burial. The family has a family cemetery behind Aunt Pumpkin’s home and wanted to bury uncle there. This is what he wanted. The Church (St. Anns) would not allow uncle to be buried there unless the cemetery was recognized. They refused to have the funeral mass!
I find this disheartening. This is the third time that I am aware of where a grieving family has had to make issue with this church over burials. Our family was involved in each instance. Today, Wanda and I went to tribal office to talk to councilmen and informed them of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (they didn’t know it existed…I wasn’t surprised) and talked about tribal custom and the importance of the tribe to recognize the will of the people.
Well, today the tribal council passed a resolution officially recognizing the “White Wolf” cemetery behind Aunt Pumpkin’s home. Looks like we will have a funeral after all.
The council is also passing a generic resolution declaring that all family cemeteries established on the reservation are officially recognized. Finally. Now, the church can’t complain anymore. Those complaints by the church are really harmful to people and families that are grieving.
Good work Andy! I am not surprised of all of those things you discussed and the lack of knowledge. You’d be surprised over the number of folks that don’t know NAGPRA or AIPRA even exist!!!! I am everyday.