Father Sierra love him or hate him

In doing research, with a tremendous amount of reading on Father Sierra and impact he had on the forgotten tribes of California; I have come to the conclusion for all the good that he did; it can not and does not outweight the systematic annihilation of the forgotten tribes of California. Just like Hitler, there were people that said good things about him and that he was a great man, in this situation, was not the case. The Catholic Church and others have said that if it hadn’t been for Father Sierra, it would’ve been the Russians or the Europeans and the outcome would’ve been the same. I for one don’t know if this is true or not. What I can say, is that he was the man in control of all the Spanish soldiers under his command at that time. And if they did not want to be excommunicated by the Catholic Church, they had to do whatever Father Sierra told him to do .We, as a people, did not ask for a new religion. We didnot ask for all of the terrible diseases that killed thousands of us. We did not ask for the beatings, the kidnappings, the torturing, the raping of our women, we did not ask for the land we that we lived on to be decimated by them, by bringing their animals to trample on and eat all of our vegetation which had been sustaining us for thousands of years. To reduced our fertile land to barren land in less than 50 years. One article stated that roads could be paved with the skulls of our dead or   highways could be paved with the bones and the skulls of the thousands of our people that died due to the diseases that were inflicted upon us and our lands that were ravaged and left barron, no longer able to provide sustainance.  Father Sierra said  “when I saw their general behavior, pleasing ways and engaging manners my heart was broken to think that they were still being deprived of the light of the Holy gospel. So he set out to convert all of the Indians to their religion, by any means deemed necessary. When in reality  it was a way to control a race of people. We did not ask the Spanish soldiers to kidnap thousands of us, to give us Spanish names, dress us in blue uniforms, make us in to farmworkers, to do something they never done. We were forced to care for their livestock  tan hides, produce candles, bricks, tiles, shoes, saddlesoap and other necessities that the Spanish needed at the time. We lived for thousands of years, living the way of our ancestors did and then the  Catholic  church came into our lives and played God. And God forbid, that if we as a people misbehaved or said “no, we will not do this”  we then were whipped, branded, mutilated,  even executed. Hundreds and thousands of us, both in the mission and the surrounding areas died of malaria, smallpox or other unfamiliar diseases brought to our lands by the Spanish invaders.  We had no immunity to these unfamiliar diseases and still they say that Father Sierra did nothing wrong. Just knowing that at the mission in Santa Barbara there are more than 4600 Chumash names that fill the burial registries. Indians were put in mass graves near the church and were denied either traditional or Christian burials and they say he loved us. What gave the Catholic Church the right to take it upon themselves to dictate our lives. One of the things that come to mind is when Father Sierra separated the unmarried women from the others, until he could choose spouses for them. Forcing our women into unwanted marriages to Spanish soldiers. The purpose of this was to strengthen their hold upon the native people. Under his [Father Sierras’] control we had no free choice of our own. The Catholic Church has made this man into a saint and swept all the horrible crimes that he committed “in the name of the Catholic Church” under the rug.  I, as one, of the descendents of the people that suffered at his hands will not stand for this blatant disregard of the truth and injustices to my people. The church, as always, continues to deny these truths, and will not answer the letters or the questions about Father Sierra, his actions directly upon the instructions of the Catholic Church. The San Francisco Archbishop said this, ” his relative altruism towards Indians justify his sainthood and that native life under missionaries was preferable to battling European armies” This archbishop has no idea what the hell he is talking about. He says that we, as a race of people, were better off with the missionaries them without. I, for one, think he’s out of his f****** mind at least with the other Europeans, we would not have been enslaved we would have been killed out right, fighting for and defending our villages.Fighting for and defending our families. To die the way that we did, under the missionaries was the worst possible way to die. There was no dignity in the way that they treated us. How they took away our way of life, our souls, our names, our land, our identity ** but most of all, the history of the forgotten tribes of California. My ancestors cry out for the world to know that ” WE WERE HERE AND STILL ARE.

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