Native American catholics

I have traveled a lot in rural areas all over the United States and Canada. An have attended many small parishes in these places. I notice a trend there are always older established Catholic Parish on and around Reservations. My question?

It seems like a huge percentage of native Americans became catholic over protestant. I don’t know what the statistics are now but I have never seen an old Protestant church any were near a reservation or been able to find much writings about natives Americans becoming Protestant but huge amount on tribes becoming catholic?

The Conquistadors arrived from Spain with Franciscan Friars. Notice too, that most of the pueblos in the Southwest have Franciscan patron saints. Santa Clara, San Francisco de Asis, etc.
My sister’s parish in Albuquerque is the Indian Chapel…St. Kateri, and they have images of all the patrons of all the pueblos in the church. Very beautiful church.

It’s also important to note that the three nations that founded the US had different goals in mind with regard to Native Americans. The Spaniards wanted to convert them to Catholicism. The French had mostly a small trading presence, but was at least somewhat interested in converting Native Americans to Catholicism, although it was not their primary goal. The Protestant British generally cared very little about converting Native Americans (with certain exceptions), and instead tended to exploit local tribes or push them further inland. At best, some lived reasonably harmoniously with them, but separate (such as the Quakers in Pennsylvania).

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