Land Acknowledgement

Pax Christi Land Acknowledgement

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 22:34-40 NRSV

We, the members of the Pax Christi Catholic Community of Eden Prairie, give thanks to the Mdewakanton Sioux, a community of the Dakota Nation, who traditionally has lived on this fertile land along the banks of the Mni Sota Wakpa or Minnesota River for hundreds of years. Ancestral remains of the Dakota people and artifacts have been uncovered here in Eden Prairie. The Dakota are strong spiritual people with deep connection to the land. We honor the Dakota people for their way of life, caring for relationships with people and the earth.

The Past

A series of Papal Bulls issued by the Catholic Church, starting in 1452, formed the basis of a spiritual, political, and legal concept known as “The Doctrine of Discovery.” This justified colonization, religious conversion, and seizure of land not inhabited by Christians. Thus, the Indigenous people of the Americas suffered persecution and death at the hands of many nations. Applying the Doctrine of Discovery, the United States Government ceased treaty making and broke many treaties, removed Indigenous peoples from their homelands, relocated them to reservations, and sent Indigenous children to boarding schools far from their parents. These actions were intended to erase Indigenous culture, language and way of life. These abusive and destructive actions created the generational trauma that still exists today.

The Present

It is time we recognize the injustice that exists. We must take action. We commit to building relationships with Indigenous people to better understand how our Pax Christi community can be most supportive of Indigenous rights. From our Indigenous friends, we learn that not only humans are important, but that all creation is sacred and needs to be respected. We commit to joining our Indigenous neighbors as advocates for racial reconciliation, healing, and ecological justice.

Our Prayer for the Future

As we gather in this sacred space, the Ancestral land of the Mdewakanton Sioux family, we embrace our Gospel’s call for reconciliation and what that reconciliation means here and now. We embrace our Mission “to act for justice, be of generous service, and welcome all authentically.” As stewards of this sacred space, we are grateful for the wisdom of the Indigenous people - for their deep respect for the earth, for their belief in giving without looking for anything in return, for their belief in the sacredness of relationships. May our care for the Pax Christi community of Eden Prairie grow in the same wisdom. We acknowledge the deep historical, spiritual and personal injustices against Indigenous people that continue today as segregation and prejudice. We pledge to listen to the Indigenous people to guide us to responsible action for reconciliation and mutual respect. May we continue to educate ourselves. May we promote healing, respect, and love. Let us journey together in partnership, celebrating our Creator’s gifts of people, land, and water, nurturing each other and this sacred space.

Pax Christi Catholic Community

12100 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347


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