“Disrobing Junipero Serra – Saint or Monster?”

Serra - Saint or Monster?

Serra – Saint or Monster?

Public welcome to discussion on Sainthood of Junipero Serra and the real history of California missions

SANTA BARBARA — On Saturday May 30, 2015, In opposition of the Pope’s plans to grant Serra sainthood and the Catholic church’s continued failure to address the real story of the California missions, the Barbareno Chumash Tribal Council “’iyalmuwič” and The American Indian Movement of Southern California, have brought together some of the Native community’s most notable academics and leaders to lead discussions in two thought provoking panels.

The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara is hosting this as a free event at 1535 Santa Barbara St. Santa Barbara, California 93101.

Panel One begins at 9:30 a.m., with the topic of the International Ramifications of Canonization. The sainthood of Junipero Serra will have global repercussions. This issue affects the entire Western Hemisphere.  This panel will expose the iconic California Mission systems, which has long been held by the Catholic church as a golden era- a unique storyline that created a myth of it’s own. Subjects to include; The Doctrine of Discovery, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Human rights, religious, spiritual, environmental, economic and social justices issues of today.

Panelists include:

Facilitator – Marcus Lopez, Sr., Co-Chair of the Barbareno Chumash Tribal Council “’iyalmuwič”

Elias Castillo, author, A Cross of Thorns, The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions

Valentin Lopez, Chairman, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of Costanoan/Ohlone Indians

Tia Oros Peters-Zuni, Executive Director of the 7th Generation Fund for Indigenous Development

Deana Dartt-Newton – Chumash, doctor of Anthropology

Roberta Cordero – Chumash Elder, Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation

Shannon Rivers, Akimel O’otham, former co-chair of the Global Indigenous Peoples -Caucus United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

Kanyon Sayers-Roods, Costanoan Ohlone, Chumash, Director of CIR- Indian Canyon

Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, Tongan, PhD Candidate, Dept. of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Panel Two begins at 1:00 p.m. with the topic of Catholic and Christians against canonization. The issue of Junipero Serra’s impending sainthood, should not be a “Native Vs. Catholic” issue. This has been an emotional issue of major proportions. Many people from the Christian and Catholic faith have been reaching out, and organizing against Pope Francis’ decision for Junipero Serra’s sainthood.  Subjects will include: How does one become a saint? Did Serra meet those requirements? How is the Catholic Church justifying the Junipero Sainthood? What is and what is not implied by Sainthood? How does this involve historical trauma and self – determination?

Panelists include:

Facilitator- Valentin Lopez, Chairman, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of Constantan/Ohlone Indians

Georgiana Valoyce Sanchez-Chumash, O’odham Elder Retired Professor of American Indian Literature Cal-State Long Beach

Donna Schindler, MD, Cross-Cultural Psychiatry Historical Trauma Focus,

Mary Valdemar, Former Catholic Youth of the Year, LA Archdiocese, Co-Founder of CHICCCAA, Coalition Member, Indigenous DRUM

Sasheen Littlefeather, Kiowa- Lifelong Native Activist and practicing Catholic

Greg Cotten: Christian, Research Scientist, and human rights advocate



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  1. chris taft 5 years ago
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