Junípero Serra

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Junípero Serra has been decapitated, defaced, and became a saint all within a month’s time. He is surrounded by controversy. Many celebrated for he was the first Latino to become canonized. Rubén Mendoza of California State University of Monterey Bay explains, “Father Serra was not only a man of his time, he was a man ahead of his time in his advocacy for native people on the frontier.” However, Valentin Lopez who is the chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band explains that “Serra’s and the Church’s failure to learn form the teaching of Christ or from the life of St. Francis resulted in the complete extinction of many, many California tribes and great devastation for many others.”

This statue was of a man who lived over two hundred years ago
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These schools have been described as an instrument to wage intellectual, psychological, and cultural warfare to turn Native Americans into “Americans”. There are many reports of young Native Americans losing all cultural belonging. According to an interview with NPR, Bill Wright was sent to one of these schools. He lost his hair, his language, and then his Navajo name. When he was able to return home, he was unable to understand or speak to his grandmother. Losing one’s cultural knowledge, and therefore the reality of their culture, allows others to have control over their collective and individual consciousness as well as their destiny. In this case, it is clear that the United States government has had the dominant relationship over the Native…show more content…
Now Pope Francis has made Junípero Serra an official saint. Many Native Americans may feel like their history, the history they have fought so hard to preserve, will be forgotten. Which brings us to the fallen statue of Junípero Serra in Carmel. This act is just another expression of the underlining historical tensions we can see within the Native American communities and outside communities. As George Orwell once said, those “who control the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past” . It clear that from the time of Junípero Serra until now, outside forces have controlled the past, the present, and the future of the California Native
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