Date of Award

August 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Rachel Buff

Committee Members

Neal Pease, Christopher Cantwell


Americanization, Catholicism, Missionaries, Native Americans


This study examines how Catholics writing about Native Americans in the early twentieth century used the popular and political discourse surrounding Native Americans to Americanize the image of American Catholics. It also examines the ambiguity that many Catholic authors displayed towards becoming full participants in American culture, and how that ambiguity was expressed through these writings even while the authors expressed their wish to be accepted as American citizens. The pieces analyzed in this study consist of articles from The Indian Sentinel, a magazine published by the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions for the purpose of raising funds for Catholic Indian Mission schools in the United States. Published beginning in 1903 and featuring stories that were mainly written by Missionaries or other Catholic religious workers, the articles offer a fascinating view of the common issues being discussed among American Catholics in the early twentieth century as well as the common discourses and images surrounding Native Americans during the same period.