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Blog Post & Photos by Sister Patrice Colletti, SDS
Kateri Initiative – Sisseton, South Dakota

Sister Betty Vetter enjoyed a brief visit to Sisseton this past week. The fun began with a visit to the petroglyph site near Jeffers, MN. These petroglyphs were created between 2,000 and 5,000 years ago. There are over 5,000 pecked into the granite bedrock ridges all across the area. 

They offer a peek into human history during the days of the glaciers’ retreat. Writing had not yet been invented, but symbols and pictures allowed for news and sacred stories to be pecked by hand into the hard bedrock faces that already bore the glacial striations- those parallel scratches formed as the glaciers dragged rocks across the surface of Mother Earth. 

This is still considered a sacred place. You can feel that. We certainly had a sense of being linked to the ancient peoples who inhabited this windy prairieland while mastodons and mammoths roamed.

The week offered plenty of opportunities for photography. Even as the prairie shifts from the verdant colors of summer, it offers textures and gradients that might otherwise remain invisible.

Driving to and from Minneapolis for a medical appointment, we also had a chance to see harvest in full swing, with corn and soy being harvested and the last of the hay crops being baled.

On Monday, Sr. Betty was our guest presenter during our Grade 5 Math classes. She had their rapt attention as she told about how important math is when you’re a nurse!

Take a peek at the picture below. If we look a bit tired, that could be because we also spent time together tackling a few cleaning and organizing chores! Plus, Betty bore gifts from Milwaukee: teddy bears and hippos (the stuffed kind, not the real kind!), a gift from Denise Demulling’s brother, went to Tiospa Zina Tribal School. They will soon be paired with elementary kids. School supplies like pencils, markers, notebooks, and crayons found a happy home in my classroom. Children’s clothing went to the domestic violence shelter/safe place/ program now inhabiting the floor below us in our apartment building. And other goodies, including tasty snacks, were a treat all week long. Betty’s car was surely a lot lighter as she headed back east to Milwaukee. Thank you to all who gathered gifts and goodies and sent them on their way west. It is great to have you each be a part of our presence here, even if you can’t get here in person.

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