Chef Wilton Littlechild explains why he gave Pope Francis a headdress

Brandi Morin, award-winning Cree, Iroquois and French journalist, interviewed Chief Wilton Littlechild to explain why he gave a headdress to Pope Francis.

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Here is what he had to say:

“One of the things I learned from being raised by my grandparents is not to criticize other traditions, traditions of other cultures. And in our traditional way, you would welcome a visiting high dignitaries, and many other tribes gave headdresses to many other people like ministers, senators and businessmen.

“We decided at home, as a community, to welcome him with a gift because he came to our territory. We were actually flabbergasted that he chose us because there were three site visits from Rome. Across the country, and we were chosen, and we didn’t push for it. We were just chosen to be the one where he would apologize.

He has also repeatedly said that the exchange is a “tradition”.

Watch the interview here:

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About the Author

Neely Bardwell
Author: Neely BardwellE-mail: This email address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Neely Bardwell (descendant of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indian), who started as an intern at Native News Online in the summer of 2021, is a freelance writer. Bardwell is a student at Michigan State University where she majored in politics and minored in Native American studies.


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