Community Health, Youth Voices
When Pope Francis announced his plan to canonize Junipero Serra, some local Native Americans have voiced opposition to naming the Spanish Franciscan as a saint. Long Beach is home to 15,981 people of Native American and Alaskan Native background, and Serra, along with Spanish soldiers in 1769, expanded missions to convert Native populations in California to Christianity. By 1848, the Native population was cut in half due to disease and dislocation, and the missions amounted to many as the first stages of that genocide. “They call (Serra) the evangelizer of the west. That has a very negative meaning to me because of everything that was lost.” The full story is on Voicewaves.