Caring for our Native Brothers & Sisters
Welcome to Healing Wounds Ministry. Healing Wounds Ministry is a ministry designed to help care for the Native Populations and to help repair the harms that have happened in the boarding schools. Healing Wounds Ministry is based on the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Christ is meant to uplift the broken hearted, alleviate oppression and provide warmth and light for others. For those that understand the heart of the gospel they know that the gospel has has the ability to bring solace for one in their time of need. "Blessed are ye that mourn, for ye shall be comforted." "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly of heart and ye shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
However, many of the Native populations were not gifted the beauty of the gospel of Christ. For many, from the time of European settlement, the gospel of Christ was used as a means to create oppression. During this time there were many Christians who worked to bring forward the governments agenda to assimilate the Native Populations rather than to care for them. This resulted in the ill-effects of the boarding schools. During the boarding school era the Natives were taken from their homes and forced to abdicate their cultures. A commonly known phrase that was used during that time was 'Kill the Indian, Save the Man'. This one statement shows the lengths that one went through to assimilate the Native populations and sometimes actually resulted in the death of Native children.
The world came to know this in the year of 2021 when 215 unmarked graves were discovered at a boarding school in Canada called Kamloops. This discovery prompted a world-wide understanding of what the Native populations endured during their time in the boarding schools. This is the time when the orange shirts were brought forward that stated, "Every Child Matters". To this day the indigenous populations are struggling to repair the harms that were done during the time of the boarding schools and for this reason Healing Wounds Ministry is brought forward.
Healing Wounds Ministry is oriented towards living the gospel of Jesus Christ. As disciples of Christ we follow the words of Christ when he said, "If they brother hath ought against thee, leave thy gift at the altar and first be reconciled unto thy brother." In this statement we recognize the responsibility that we have as Christians, and as representatives of Christ, to work towards repairing the damages, regardless of our denomination, that have been created towards the Native populations and to dedicate ourselves to exemplifying the gospel of Christ. There is an understanding that in this care for others who are in need that we are fulfilling Christ's words when he said, "Whatsoever ye have done unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done unto me."
Heidi Swalve, the founder of Healing Wounds Ministry, began Healing Wounds Ministry due to her research of Catholic Missionary named Father Baraga who worked among the Ojibwe in the 1800's. During a time when the government was working endlessly to remove the Ojibwe from their lands due to the 1830 Indian Removal Act, Father Baraga worked tirelessly to ensure that they were able to stay. Due to his influence and the perseverance of the Ojibwe that he worked with, the Ojibwe were granted the ability to remain on their lands. Father Baraga advocated for the use of the Native languages and wrote what is still considered the largest Ojibwe dictionary which is still in use today. In addition, Father Baraga worked tirelessly to ensure that the Ojibwe had adequate food, shelter and clothing and created ways to help the Native populations remain sober. These all exemplified the gospel of Christ in helping ensure our fellow Native brothers and sisters are granted their basic needs and basic connections to their cultures so that they have the ability to thrive in this world. His example created what is considered the four pillars of Healing Wounds Ministry which follow in the footsteps of this incredible missionary.
Healing Wounds Ministry works with other reputable organizations to help bring forward the necessary care for our Native brothers and sisters on whose land our homes rest. Healing Wounds Ministry then follows up with these organizations to determine how they have helped the Native populations with the donations provided. These results are then published in a newsletter so that the donors know how their individual donations have benefited the Native Communities. In essence Healing Wounds Ministry does the necessary work to answer the simple question, "How can I help?" By donating to Healing Wounds Ministry you are helping the Native Populations receive the necessary help they need to recover from the loss of their languages and cultures during the boarding school era. Your donation works to revitalize their languages, work towards drug and alcohol rehabilitation, gift them the necessary food, shelter and clothing and helps them to reconnect to the use of their lands which are an essential component to the Native way of life and being. Please donate today to help repair the damages that have transpired in the boarding schools.