The First Native American Saint and The Falsehoods in the News Media

There are numerous reports out today that the Vatican will canonized the first-ever Native American. These reports have been reported by CNN as Pope names first Native American saint and Reuters via the Chicago Tribune as Vatican names seven saints including first Native American. The new saint referred in these erroneous articles is Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, known as Lily of the Mohawks. She lived in the late 1600s in and died at the young age of 24, during her life and times many Native Americans were ravaged by decease and war but she is not the first Native American to reach sainthood.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha is the second Native American saint. The first Native American to be named a saint by the Vatican was Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. Saint Juan Diego was canonized by Pope Juan Paul II in 2002. Saint Juan Diego was a Mexica living during the time of the Spanish conquest of the New World in what is now modern day Mexico City. Saint Juan Diego is the first Native American saint, and Saint Kateri Takakwitha is the second Native American to be honored as such.

The false aspects in the reporting of the canonization of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha are so basic, and yet so widespread, that you have to question the basic research and journalism employed at CNN, Reuters, AFP and other news agencies that are reporting these falsehoods. If you can’t trust the news networks to report the basic facts on trivial events how can you trust them to report the truth on events that are more complicated and have a larger impact in society. Since this error is so widespread in so many reports from so many different networks it just proves that journalist, much like your basic bloggers, just cut and paste from press releases and copy edit link bait headlines.

While the New York Times, the paper of record, incorrectly reports that “Pope Benedict XVI canonized seven saints, including the first Native American” Wikipedia correctly states that Saint Kateri Tekakwitha “is the first Native American woman to be venerated in the Roman Catholic Church.”

Pope Canonizes Kateri Tekakwitha and Marianne Cope - NYTimes.com 10/21/12 10/07 AM

Pope Canonizes Kateri Tekakwitha

Flags of Anahuac

Anahuac is a Nahuatl (Aztec) word that means Land Between the Waters. The term has been used to describe the Valley of Mexico where the Aztecs built their capital city and where Mexico City now stands, but Anahuac was the name the Aztecs used to describe all of the land they inhabited and including the whole continent. Today Anahuac can be used to described the whole of the New World, North and South America.

Indigenous nations, including the Aztecs, did not have flags as we have today, but they used military banners and other iconography as demonstrated in surviving codices and murals. The Aztecs had a wide range of symbology and myths that they incorporated in the place names of their cities and sacred sites. The legend of the founding of Mexico City is used in the flag of Mexico, with the eagle eating a serpent on top of a cactus. Since, modern flags were not used in the time of the Aztecs I tasked myself with designing flags using the symbolism the indigenous people of the Americas would have used.

Flag of Mexicatl Socialist Republic
This flag is modeled after the flag of the USSR but a variant of the ollin symbol.

Flag of Mexicatl Socialist Republic

Flag of Mexicatl Socialist Republic

Flag of Anahuac
This flag design uses a variant of the ollin symbol in the style of a saltire like the Cross of Saint Andrew.

Flag of Anahuac

Flag of Anahuac

Flag of Califaztlan
The following flag design is based on the flag of California but uses the image of Aztec gods in the badge. The word Califaztlan is composed of California and Aztlan, the ancestral home of the Aztecs that is said to be located in the American Southwest.

Flag of Califaztlan Tezcatlipoca

Flag of Califaztlan Tezcatlipoca

Flag of Califaztlan Mitlantecuhtli

Flag of Califaztlan Mitlantecuhtli

Flag of la Raza Cósmica
This is a redesign and remix of the flag of the Americas (also known as the flag of the Hispanic People, Bandera de la Hispanidad) and the Cross of Burgundy. The Cross of Burgundy flag was used by the Spanish in its overseas territories for nearly three hundred years, from the American Southwest to la Tierra del Fuego. The three purple represent the three ships used by Columbus to discover the New World, it also represents the idea of the three cultures (the European, the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and the modern Raza Cósmica). The sun represents the Aztec sun god Tonatiuh and the Incan sun god Inti.

Flag of la Raza Cósmica

Flag of la Raza Cósmica