top of page

Baraga Legacy Fund

Father Baraga.jpg

The Baraga Legacy Fund helps to promotes Father Baraga's legacy of care and concern for the Native populations.  This fund allows for his continued research and the connection between that research and the Native histories.  It also allows for the ability to spread his name and the Native histories far and wide through videos, blogs, 


The Father Baraga website is unique in that this site combines the Ojibwe histories of the 1800's alongside the work of Father Baraga to fully understand his ministry among the Ojibwe during their greatest times of change and transition which allows you to see the whole context of his mission which is not something that can be done by just researching the Catholic side of his histories.  By understanding the context of his mission you can truly grasp how much he really did for the Ojibwe during their time of greatest need and greatest transition.  

The Baraga Legacy fund is a fund cultivated through the Healing Wounds Ministry non-profit organization which was created due to the impact of Father Baraga's work among the Ojibwe.  Healing Wounds Ministry is a Christian and Catholic organization designed to help heal the wounds of the boarding schools which began not long after Father Baraga's Passing.  

The year after his passing in the year 1869 the United States Government instituted what was called the Peace Policy which allotted a Christian denomination to each reservation.  Given the success that Father Baraga had amongst the Native Populations one would have expected that the Catholic representation amidst this policy would have been high but instead the opposite was true and the Roman Catholic religion was significantly underrepresented.  Even in the Lake Superior region where Bishop Baraga worked was not granted any Roman Catholic representation [1].  When seeing this the Roman Catholics started an institution called the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions in 1874 to help ensure that the Native populations received the care and representation that they needed.


The Dakota populations underwent similar treatment as the Ojibwe did in the north and they had little to no representation.  In the year 1884 a famous war chief of the Dakota Nation, Chief Red Cloud, hearing of the work that the Catholics did for the Natives became Catholic himself.  In the year 1888 he helped build a boarding school on the Pine Ridge Reservation called Holy Rosary.  At the end of his life Chief Red Cloud, believing in the work that the Catholic Faith did on behalf of the Native Populations, chose to be buried in a Jesuit Black Robe.  The words he spoke towards the end of his life show how much he desired to have others care for the people whom he loved, "I wish that there was someone to help my poor people when I am gone."

Healing Wounds Ministry seeks to repair the harms brought about during the boarding school era and fulfill Red Clouds and Bishop Baraga's desires to care for those that are in need.  Healing Wounds Ministry is based on the four pillars related to Father Baraga's work amongst the Ojibwe: Language Revitalization, Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation, Food, Shelter & Clothing and Land Acquisition.  The Baraga Legacy Fund helps to create greater awareness of Father Baraga and his work among the Ojibwe Natives.  


[1] Keller Jr., R. H. (1983). American Protestanism and United States Indian Policy, 1869-82. University of Nebraska Press, 227.

bottom of page