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North Dakota Christian hospital adds sacred space

The St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, North Dakota, dedicated a $350,000 solarium and meditation room to provide a space for Indian and other ceremonies.

The space was created in response to concerns by John Eagle Shield, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and other tribal members. They said they lacked a place to hold smudging and other ceremonies.

The Christian hospital saw 72,000 admissions in 2002, 8 percent of whom were Indian. Of trauma patients, 24 percent were Indian and three-fourth of these patients were Standing Rock Sioux.

Overall, the hospital has seen a 79 percent increase in Indian patients from 1998 and 2002.

Get the Story:
Catholic hospital adds room for Indians (AP 7/29)
Unveiling Sacred Spaces (St. Alexius 7/28)

Relevant Links:
St. Alexius Medical Center -