From: Toypurina Carac
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 07:32:40 -0700
Subject: Re-righting Our Story
Last week, many of us attended the symposium at UC Riverside: "California
Indians, Canonization of Junipero Serra and Consequences of Colonialism
There were two panels, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The
panels were mixed with Native and non-native scholars and professors. It
was apparent that the non-native "scholars" got more then they bargained
for. I am glad that our peoples were able to participate in a dynamic
discussion regarding the true meaning of the Canonization of Junipero
Serra as the Evangelizer of our ancestors. Special thanks to Steven
Newcomb, Shawnee, author of "Pagans in the Promised Land", as well as Dr.
Donna Schlindler, Amah Mutsun Tribal Psychiatrist, Val Lopez, Chairman of
the Amah Mutsun and Corine Fairbanks from AIM Socal for attending.
Edward Castillo, Cahuilla, dared to disagree with professors Sandos and
Hackle and made the ancestors proud. Jonathon Cordero proved to be the
voice of reason and told the non native historians "I am a Sociologist"
as they tried to interpret things they don't understand about our society
and culture. Many of us shared our personal feelings that the
canonization of Serra will celebrate his legacy, which to Native
Californians means the genocide of our ancestors. Things became tense
when a vary well known non-native professor became angry and told the
group that the term "genocide" doesn't apply to the extermination of our
ancestors by the Spanish Mission System. Even when Native Ph.D.s' cited
sources and disagreed, they were dismissed as defiant.
We get many messages from people because of the petition. Many try to
understand us and compare our genocides to their own culture which is
human nature to many non-native peoples. One word that is insulting and
oppressive to victims of cultural trauma is "bitter". It is insensitive
as we are in pain and the canonization of Serra is re-opening very deep
wounds for our peoples. Rather than anger and bitterness, we
experience historic trauma.
It isn't appropriate to tell holocaust survivors and the descendants of
victims that they are"bitter". Jews say prayers for their loved ones
exterminated during the holocaust, each day. As Americans, we remember
the lives lost on September 11th, and have engaged in an endless war over
it, but we are not supposed to be angry about 90% of our culture
I still need to gather and contain my thoughts, but last week at UCR was
a very good start for Native Peoples who have had to study under and read
the often times patronizing words of self-proclaimed non-native
"experts" that refuse to listen to "Our Story" rather than
"his-story". One of them even admitted that Junipero Serra was the Chief
Inquisitor in California, which validates my theory why no one dared
challenge his brutal acts towards our peoples.
None of these non-native men are sociologists, ethnographers' or cultural
anthropologists, they don't share our paradigm. Nor are they experts like
Steven Newcomb on the Papal Bulls and Doctrine of Discovery; the documents
that gave Columbus, Cortez and Serra free reign to plunder in the name of
Spain and the Church in our homeland and continue to disenfranchise native
This isn't the "New world". It is our world, our homeland. We didn't seek
Europe, they came to exploit and kill us.
I believe the esteemed professor exploded when the "natives got defiant
and challenged" him over the word GENOCIDE. Apparently, non-native
professors have now become the gate keepers of who qualifies as genocide
victims and who does not. Since our ancestors were not white, they seem to
think they just died of "disease", and were not slaves or genocide
During the first session, I sent the panel a question regarding the
influence of the Inquisition, Papal Bulls and Doctrine of Discovery on
Serra's "management style" in the Missions. None of these root cause
terms were utilized in the panel discussion, so I was concerned
that professors who had written so many books like Steven Hackle had
omitted the doctrines, completely as it related to Serra and the Church.
First, the question was not stated properly. I didn't ask about the impact
of the Inquisition in California, I wanted to know about the INFLUENCE the
inquisition had on Serra's education, philosophy and "management style of
evangelism" as it related to my ancestors, since it resulted in their
demise and genocide.
Dr. Hackle admitted that Serra Brought the Inquisition to California.
Thank you for your continued support. We are 800 signatures short of
our goal of 5,000. I need to move on to the next major project, so please
ask anyone you know that maybe interested in helping our cause. All we ask
is to be treated like humans. We are not ancient dinosaurs whose bones
were dug up and now science fiction is being created to explain our
history, culture and disappearance.
If non native scholars are able to free their minds and objectively LISTEN
to our words, pain, anguish and anger, without passing judgment on us or
labeling us as bitter, they will learn the truth.
What a shame for some of the historians to only know fragments of our
past, and create falsehoods to fill in the blanks they are not willing to
research. These men have earned tenured positions, are quoted and
interviewed in the media and have sold many books that are filled with
worthless lies. They should consider career changes.
Please share the petition link.