Notre Dame Trail pilgrims pay respect to Native Americans

Published: Aug. 20, 2017 at 10:55 PM EDT
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The people walking the 320-mile Notre Dame Trail paused their trip to pay their respects to Native Americans. On Sunday, the 32 pilgrims visited Prophetstown State Park in West Lafayette. John P. Warren, chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, accompanied them, holding a morning ceremony at the Circle of Stones. It honors the tribal warriors that fought to retain their land during the American expansion in the early 1800s.

"If it wasn’t for this location here at Prophetstown -- all the tribes coming together -- I think that set the stage, like the Pokagon Band being allowed to stay in their homeland," commented Warren.

Still, the tribes lost their land at the Prophetstown battle; the Americans burned the crops and buildings.

"I don’t think we will ever recover from the historic trauma of that because I think the historic trauma follows people in history. They have to find a way to cope and to change," he said.

On Sunday, Warren held a ceremony for the Notre Dame Trail pilgrims. Despite the theme for the day -- sorrow, the Potawatomi chairman hoped the people took away peace and understanding.

"I hope they get a sense a little bit of what it's like to walk in my shoes and get a sense that all spirituality crosses borders no matter what denomination or what you believe in; it has a good foundation with God and human beings interacting with each other and what we have in common," concluded Warren.


for more information about the Notre Dame Trail.