BTW, I've been debating with myself whether this is a worthwhile subject to include in Hesch history. If I truly don't care what they do with whatever remains of Sr Laura, then why am I even concerned? I guess it has to do with my distrust of all things Catholic church...and the apparent need for Benedictine nuns to continue to carry that line, even tho they've....aww, see? I don't like being manipulated, that's all. HERE'S the beginning of the matter, from mid December.
Skip this post if it seems pointless to you, ok? I'll go back to REAL history tomorrow, promise...
A few weeks ago, a client asked if I'd be willing to take her to the casino at Mille Lacs Lake one day. I said sure, having never been inside it, only marveling as I drove past ☺. She picked this last Saturday to go, so the poor woman heard all kinds of Sr Laura stories on the way, including my theories about WHY Sr L needs to be moved almost 40 years later.
As we drove north from Onamia, I was thinking about the last time I'd been past the mission and the casino--was it last summer or the summer before? As a Hesch, you can hardly NOT look at the church on the left, and at 65 MPH, you see the casino within seconds. I remember thinking, last time, that at least the casino complex seemed to start more to the north of the mission land. Did I miss the large building that's behind it now? I mean, right behind the cemetery.
To be clear, I'm truly delighted that the Ojibwe have found a way to recoup some of the horrifying losses our ancestors rained on them...the money flowing inside the casino Saturday was phenomenal. It's a beautiful, well thought out gambling complex, and it appeals to...well, white Minnesotan sensibilities, I guess.
Sr Laura wouldn't recognize the reservation now. It's worth a look at the band website to see some of the incredible changes there. Especially when I remember the Johnson era houses built in the 1960s across from the church, THIS reservation just shines.
But, back to Saturday. Thanks to google earth, here's the last pic they have of the casino/hotel complex. Things have changed again tho. There is no little white building south of the church now, and there IS a building where I added the yellow square. I was startled to see it rising behind the cemetery. It looked like a "mechanics" building--maybe a power plant sort of windowless square tower--but it's presence there means the complex is expanding.
I really believe the land there belongs to the Mille Lacs Band, including the church acreage. If they want a better view of the casino as you approach from the south, or if they just want less white culture on the reservation, then that's the way it should be.
With any luck, this is the end of my rant about it, except I'll try to publish a date when they do the actual move, ok? Besides, I wanna know what's left of a coffin after 40 years in the ground.