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Junipero Serra has been called “the evangelizer of the west” for his legacy founding missions in California. In January, Pope Francis announced that he will make the 18th-century missionary a saint. But for tribes in California, Serra represents colonization, the eradication of Indigenous language and culture, and a religious system responsible for death and destruction of tribes and their members. Are the experiences of Native people at the hands of Catholic missionaries being swept under the rug by the church? How can religious leaders come to terms with their role in the history of America? Join us as we explore the life of Junipero Serra, his legacy and the controversy over his canonization by the Catholic Church.
Steven Hackel – professor of history, University of California, Riverside
Valentin Lopez (Amah Mutsun Tribal Band) – Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
Corine Fairbanks says
AIM Southern California has been organizing with California Tribal Leaders on this issue. Next Ceremony to Honor Ancestors and Denounce Serra is with the Chumash Nation May 30th & 31st
Denise Arrell says
From 1986 until 1992 I was a Docent at the Santa Cruz City Museum of Natural History (California). During my training for that position and during my time as a volunteer there we were told the truth and were able to tell the truth to the hundreds of young children who visited us every year. We taught how the Missions were built on the backs of the American Indians/Native Americans/Indigenous People. I am so proud to have had this opportunity. Please know that not all people of European extraction are ignorant of the truth. No Sainthood for Serra! Blessed be, Denise Arrell
Neil Whitelaw says
Many people of white European ancestry know the truth of Serra. My ancestors escaped from Eastern Europe in the 1880’s and so have nothing to do with the genocide of Red people’s but am also outraged that Serra is being promoted to Sainthood. All races should band together to stop yet another travesty of Justice by the Roman Church. I cannot any longer justify calling them Catholic because Catholic means Universal and they are anything but Universal. This is but a continuation of the Roman Empire.