Kateri Tekakwitha Becomes First Canonized Native American

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    The first ever Native American saint has been canonized by the Roman Catholic Church in a ceremony at the Vatican.

    Kateri Tekakwitha – sometimes known as Lily of the Mohawks – died more than 300 years ago, but is thought by some to have performed a miracle as recently as 2006.

    When Kateri was young, a peace deal was struck with the French, and part of the deal was that missionaries would be allowed to work within the communities. By this point, Kateri was living over the river in a small village called Caughnawaga, which is the only Mohawk village anywhere to have been substantially excavated.

    Set on a hill for protection, so that the Mohawks could see their enemies coming, coloured poles today mark the plots where they lived in traditional longhouses, with bunks to the side, and fires inside to cook and keep warm in the bitter winters.Kateri Tekakwitha was baptised into the Catholic Church at the age of 20, on Easter Day 1676.Kateri appears to have been penalised for converting. Her uncle, the chief of the village, is said to have been unhappy with her decision, and her refusal to marry a Mohawk man he had selected for her.

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