Donna Naughton is an Ojibway and Cree from Biigtigong First Nation located in northern Ontario. Donna holds both a BSW and a MSW. With a Master’s Degree in Social Work, Donna has been helping Indigenous communities for almost 30 years. She is also the Executive Director of Kateri Native Ministry, a role she has held since 2016. Kateri Native Ministry is based in eastern Ontario and has been committed to the healing, reconciliation and spiritual growth of Indigenous people for over 20 years. Kateri Native Ministry serves in communion with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa.
I met Donna this summer at a meeting of the Jesuits of Canada in Midland, Ontario. Donna was part of a panel that reported on the visit of Pope Francis to Canada and the apology that he offered to the indigenous peoples of Canada. Donna spoke powerfully on that panel about the Pope’s visit and what she appreciated about the Pope's apology to the Indigenous people of Canada and what she found missing in the Pope's visit. In this episode we talk about what it means for her to be both Catholic and engaged in Indigenous spirituality, which includes discussion of the Pope's visit. Donna also speaks about her mother's experience as a student at a Catholic residential school.