Monday, March 2, 2015


Snow encirled my car.  Later a well known Objibwe woman would be addressing a conference banquet.  I had learned there might be tickets," first come first serve. " So I trudged to the conference site to be "first."

Not only did I get a ticket, but was offered a ticket which was paid for!  While snow tempted me to go home, I knew (thanks Holy Spirit) I was meant to be there.

After the talk I introduced, myself to Patty Loew*, and mentioned, I am a Sinsinawa Dominican. I was so warmly embraced and greeted,

Thank you to the Sinsinawa Dominicans, who have been such good friends to the Native people of this state.  I know well the work that your community did during the boat landing violence during our treaty rights struggle back in the late 80s.  miigwetch

Like most I like to take credit for individual accomplishments, but in that moment I realized that being Sinsinawa Dominican was much more than just being Joan.

How do we rejoice not only in being a me, but also in being part of an us? .

*Patty Loew is a member of the Bad River Band of Obijibwe and professor at UW Madison

Joan Duerst, OP

Monona, WI

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