Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American Saint. The Lily of the Mohawks was canonized on October 21, 2002.

2013 Tekakwitha Conference Convention; Plus: Native Catholic Stats

April 14, 2013

Native American Catholics have their own national organization, the Tekakwitha Conference. The Tekakwitha Conference sponsors local Native Catholic groups, known as “Kateri Circles,” and hosts a national convention each year that attracts approximately 800 Native American Catholics. This year's convention will be held July 17-21 in El Paso, Texas. During the convention there will be a pilgrimage to the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo. For details and registration information (both attendees and vendors), click here.

Here are some demographics on Native American Catholics:

<> More than 340 parishes in the United States serve predominantly Native American congregations.

<> Of all (arch)dioceses in the United States, 30 percent have an office and/or program specifically targeting Native American Catholics.

<> Native Americans compose approximately 3.5 percent of all Catholics in the United States.

<> Only 40 percent of Native Americans live in reservations or trust lands.

<> Most of those ministering to Native American Catholics are members of religious orders; those most likely to be Native American themselves are lay ministers and deacons.

<> Approximately 20 percent of all Native Americans residing in the United States consider themselves Roman Catholics.

<> According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 2.9 million people identified themselves as Native Americans or Alaska Natives in the year 2008, an increase of about 400,000 from the year 2000. Of this total, it is estimated that 580,000 are Roman Catholic.

<> In addition to the 2.9 million Americans whose primary race is given as Native American or Alaska Native, approximately 1.6 million Americans claim some degree of Native American ancestry. Of this number, it is estimated that approximately 200,000 are Roman Catholics, for a total of approximately 780,000 people claiming some Native American/Alaska Native ancestry who are Catholics in the United States.

Source: USCCB Secretariat of Cultural Diversity, Native American Catholics at the Millennium


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