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