Tag Archives: California

California Bans Use Of Offensive ‘R’ Word, Drawing Praise From Native Americans



Officials from California high schools expressed disappointment Monday as prepared to do away with a mascot they see as historic and beloved – the Redskins – after the nickname was banned by a bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

California’s new law speaks to the larger national conversation surrounding the Washington Redskins and the mounting pressure on the NFL football team to change its name.

The ban will go into effect on Jan 1, 2017 to give schools in Merced, Calaveras, Tulare and Madera counties an adequate amount of time to phase out all the materials that bear the name and mascot.

The advocacy groups lauded California for “standing on the right side of history by bringing an end to the use of the demeaning and damaging R-word slur in the state’s schools”.

The wording of this opens the door for anyone at any time now and in the future to use this act to force a school to change its school name and mascot.

In California, proponents of the “Redskins” school mascot ban have cited a peer-reviewed study by researchers at the University of Arizona, Stanford University and the University of Michigan that found American Indian youth who were exposed to Native American mascots and stereotypical imagery reported a diminished sense of what they could achieve academically.

The four schools affected adopted their mascot years ago.

“I would say somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000, ‘ Weatherby said”.

A few superintendents said would abide by the law, even though they felt the governor should let local governments deal with the issue.

The schools have expressed the importance of having the community and students involved in picking a new mascot. I wanted to graduate as a redskin.

There was, also, an additional bill, that Governor Brown didn’t sign, that would have made similar demands on schools that use any manner of Confederate States of America names or imagery. Schools are not required to remove existing signs or fixtures by a certain date.

But how do native tribes in Calaveras County feels about the mascot change?

The law, he said, creates “an opportunity for Native youth to obtain an education free from mockery”.


Authorities Working To Stop Thefts Of Native American Artifacts Uncovered By Drought, Fire

The Rocky Fire when flames were raging on Aug. 3. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Rocky Fire when flames were raging on Aug. 3. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The four-year drought that has ravaged California and the wildfires charring through dry forests are exposing Native American sites, helping looters searching for prehistoric objects to more easily spot the obsidian spear points and other artifacts.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports Sunday looters are flocking to the water’s newly exposed edge or traversing the scorched earth looking for signs of Native American sites.

RELATED: Receding Lake Oroville Waters Leave Artifacts Exposed For Looters

Taking the artifacts is illegal, in some cases a felony but it remains an under-the-radar crime.

But there is a new effort by officials to attack the problem before it gets worse and some law enforcement officers have been trained to spot looters.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office says that shortly after an August training one of its deputies located a suspect with a satchel full of spear points, serrated hand tools and obsidian flakes.

Source: http://cbsloc.al/1iau8GP

Pope Defends ‘Missionary’ Who Brutally Converted Indigenous People To Christianity

Pope Francis (2nd L) arrives to celebrate a mass at the North American College in Rome May 2, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile  - RTX1B7S4

Pope Francis (2nd L) arrives to celebrate a mass at the North American College in Rome May 2, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile – RTX1B7S4

By Frances D’Emilio | The Associated Press

Pope Francis on Saturday praised the zeal of an 18th-century Franciscan missionary he will make a saint when he visits the United States this fall but whom Native Americans say brutally converted indigenous people to Christianity.

Francis praised Junipero Serra during a homily at a Rome seminary training future priests from North America. The pope will proclaim the Spaniard a saint during a Washington, D.C., ceremony Sept. 23.

Native Americans have protested in California, saying the friar should be criticized for what they contend was his role in wiping out native populations in a campaign to impose Catholicism. They contend he enslaved converts and that missionaries like him helped spread diseases like smallpox which decimated their people.

Francis described Serra as part of a missionary corps who “went out to all the geographical, social and existential peripheries” to spread the Gospel.

“Such zeal excites us,” Francis said.

Serra, who died in 1784, “ushered in a new springtime of evangelization in those immense territories, extending from Florida to California,” Francis said. The Vatican sees Serra as a role model for the growing U.S. Hispanic Catholic population.

The soon-to-be saint also helped defend “indigenous people against abuses by the colonizers,” Francis contended.

Without wading into specific criticisms of Serra, Francis said of these missionaries: “Sometimes we stop and thoughtfully examine their strengths and, above all, their weaknesses and shortcomings.”

Native Americans are outraged that Serra is becoming a saint, blaming him and other missionaries for nearly eradicating their culture.

“No Indians pray to Serra here,” said Ron Andrade, a member of the La Jolla Indian Reservation and director of the Los Angeles City and County Native American Indian Commission.

When Spanish missionaries moved up the coast in their quest for new souls, “we moved inland, we moved away from the churches,” Andrade said in a phone interview about Francis’ honoring Serra. “(Serra knew) by destroying the culture and the lifestyle (of Native Americans), they would die.”

The missionary work was done to “acquire land and souls, whether they were alive or dead,” Andrade said. He also lamented that the pope “didn’t sent out his bishops to ask if there was anything to be ashamed of” about Serra.

In Francis’ homily, the church’s first Latin American pope expressed awe for the likes of Serra, saying “I wonder if today we are able to respond with the same generosity and courage” in leaving comfortable lives to proclaim God to those who haven’t “experienced the embrace of his mercy.”

Before celebrating Mass at the seminary with Francis, Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl dismissed concerns that canonizing Serra could be a divisive act offending Native Americans.

“The message of the Holy Father is reconciliation,” Wuerl said.

Native Americans, including inter-tribal council members in California, have been lobbying for the removal of a statue of Serra from the U.S. Capitol.