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.
Father Sierra Was elevated to sainthood by the Pope of the Catholic Church in 2015.I like mini i cannot understand the logic in elevating father Sierra to sainthood. When is known that he committed atrocities on the Native Americans of California.We know about how easy it is for the Catholic Church too sweet things under the rug. for many years they did the same thing when it came out that priest or molesting children.. As a people we cannot let this go on any longer. we must bring out this Injustice into the light of day so that all people can see and feel hopefully what sorrow and pain we have been feeling throughout the ages. this one man almost wiped a whole race of people out of history. knowing the sadistic Things that he did in order To baptizes in the name of the Catholic Church. some say that I should not poke the Sleeping Bear but I’m sorry I just don’t give a damn anymore our story must be told and the church must be held accountable for what was done in their name.This is just one of father Sierra ways of dealing with us as as a people,. when the women who were raped and try to avoid their babies they would be beaten and tortured for days their heads would be shaven and they would have to stand in front of the altar every Sunday with the wooden Painted baby held in their arms. it is sometimes hard to imagine the pain that my ancestors went through . just knowing that in the thousands of deaths 25000 of those there children, and all he did was add those to his tally and claim that they have been baptized and their souls were saved. Governor Jerry Brown say all kinds of good things about him and that he was a great person and that you would never be remove from Washington. in the news they talk about removing statue of confederate soldier military figures and the flag just Because d they don’t feel comfortable with them in there site. how do you think we feel then we have to look at the missions that are up and down the coast of California and knowing the they help destroy our way of life,are identity and thousands had to die in order for those things to be built. so we are just too go on and not given any thought to it. I am sorry but I for one cannot let this happen I just cannot do this in all good conscience. This man should have never Ben risen to sainthood and the Pope in his ultimate wisdom Decided to go against everybody else and elevating Hymn to sainthood. maybe the Pope can tell me just how many people in his eyes does it take a priest to have to kidnap torture, rape, and murder to receive sainthood by the Catholic Church.My ancestors had no Concept of what it took be baptized by the Catholic Church. they lost their way of life they had to kneel for 2 hours a day on a hard Stone floors they had to wear the clothes the priest said to, not eat there onw food. they couldn’t speak they own language or couldn’t practice their beliefs. this is why the missions were considered death camps because once they came in they could never leave at least not in body. there is a eye witness accounts and they were Wroten in journals here’s one. the sounds and smells it reminded him of a slave camp people walking around like zombies nobody looking you in the eye and looking like they were half starved to death and this is what you call Christianity just think in about a hundred and fifty years Hitler would be doing the same thing in his death camps to the Jewish people and you call this religion.he use my people or slave labor to turn them on their own to rule over to control to steal what was there too remove the humanity and to murder them and you know the funny thing is the death camps that the Nazis used have been turned into shrines why is the church not doing the same thing to the missions where all of our ancestors died in their death camps
Here’s what they wrote about us in their journals when they first met us. They seem to be one of the most unhappy people in all the New World. They are so savage, wild, dirty, ugly, small, intimate, that only because they have human form it is possible to believe that they are related to mankind. They called us monkeys and since we looked human we must belong to mankind. This is how the priest thought of us, just because we are different. That appears to have made it so much easier for them to commit the heinous crimes against a race of people who they felt were inferior to them. They decided that we were not human, and so, we did not have the same rights as they did and as long as they saved our miserable souls it was okay to do whatever it took to accomplish that. We are not the first, nor will be the last, that the Catholic Church has seen fit to force into their religion and to love one God. When I think about what my people went through for the privilege of getting baptized. I cry, to lose your freedom, your family, your way of life, your identity, your language. How could they think so little about our people, to inflict their beliefs in such a way that it almost wiped a whole race of people from this earth. I know a lot of people look very favorablely upon the Catholic Church and that it is going to be hard for some people to believe the things they did to my people. How much we suffered then and are still suffering now as a result of their actions. The church says to forgive and not to hate the ones who trespass against us. Well can somebody please and I mean please tell me how I can forgive the Catholic Church and the pope for what they have done to my people and the people of the forgotten tribes. It is so hard not to show the real hatred I feel with the Catholic Church whenever I write or talk about this regarding what the church did to my people. Knowing that the Catholic Church is unwilling or just doesn’t give a damn about my people, in regards to trying to help heal and correct this injustice. I personally would like for the pope to recognize what was done to us by his church, his religion; and to give us the San Juan Bautista mission and the land where it sits; which was our land before they came and stole it. So that we forgotten tribes could have a place that we can call our own. To become the caretakers of the land again to be able to hold our ceremonies and to teach the young ones about their ancestors and their way of life. Finally to give all of the forgotten ones who are buried in the mass grave beside the San Juan Bautista mission; the ceremony that they and their ancestors have been waiting for, for so so long. So they may rest in peace as they deserve. They have waited far too long, it is time for the pope of the Catholic Church to make this right. We all know that the church is real good about sweeping things under the carpet. What we as a people should not and cannot let happen anymore. The time is now to bring this injustice out into the light for the world to see exactly what the Catholic Church has done to my people. No more hiding in the dark, the church must be held accountable for all of the atrocities that were committed in the name of their religion. It seems like no one wants to poke the sleeping bear, not much pressure was put on the pope when he came to elevate his priest for sainthood. Even though he was turned down once before in the 50s, because of the outcry of the Native American people of California. This new pope in his ultimate wisdom decided to go against the outcry of all the California Indians and a few others. He chose to elevate this Catholic Hitler to sainthood, even after what was done and what he did to the California Indian tribes.. Hitler was not elevated to sainthood by the Catholic Church so why in the hell is this father Sierra getting elevated to sainthood. Society as a whole must come together to help make the pope face the truth, admit the truth of these atrocities and to rectify this injustice of all of the forgotten tribes of California.
Just in the last 10 years or so there has been a couple of new books that are bringing to light what the Catholic Church has done to our people. Even though the book tells the real truth about what the Catholic Church did to us; it like my words, that will be read only by just a few and in time will just fade away. There is no excuse, in my book or in any other, that the Catholic Church or the pope can give me or my people, or the rest of the forgotten tribes. They cannot justify what they did to us as a race of people. Because of them, we still suffer today. We are scattered to the four winds we have to pay to walk on our own land. Most of our land we can’t even go and visit because of the “no trespassing” signs. But, I think, what hurts the most is that we have no place, in which, we can be the caretakers. Thus which is ingrained in our DNA, our souls, and ultimately is what the Catholic Church has taken from us. When the pope came here, for just a moment, we thought you [all native american tribes] would listen to us and not elevate this priest to sainthood. But as always, our words meant nothing and fell upon deaf ears including this priest. Father Sierra was a monster, a sadist, his whole life, he loved to beat and torture my ancestors and the ancestors of the other forgotten tribes. And still the pope had the audacity to elevate him to sainthood. I know that they invested a lot into that priest, but at the same time, how calmly they could ignore what one man did to an entire race of people. I sometimes wonder if he did all that he did, with the church’s blessing; and this attitude and actions were just something that was a common practice in dealing with natives that they came in contact with. To know that women and children, after they were kidnapped, were forced to march through the mountains to the mission, with their thumbs tied together in a long line and beaten everytime they stopped. Imagine what was going through their minds, not knowing, if they were ever going to see their husbands or their homes again. The terror that they must have felt. I feel some of that every time I read what was done to them once they got to the mission. These women and children were put into a room, stacked I should say, into a place where no one could lay down, no food, no water. They had to go to bathroom in the same space. Remember, we were very sanitary, unlike the Europeans and I guess one of the worst things was not knowing which one was next to be raped by either a Spanish soldier or a priest and praying that it wasn’t one of their children. I know what it’s like to be locked in a cold dark room with no bathroom, no clothes. Being in a cold dark room,with ice cubes and cold water thrown on the floor, no place to sit; this happened to me when I was just 11 years old in juvenile hall, as a punishment by one of the guards. At juvenile Hall I was in that room for 24 hours and to keep my young mind from going crazy I looked at designs in the concrete, I made little people out of matchsticks and food, so yes,I know what itwas like for them. I could feel what they felt and maybe that is why I am so passionate about these words that I write. I do not know how the Catholic Church can call these missions, “houses of God” when so many heinous and terrible crimes were committed on this land and in the making of these missions. Also, all of the mass suicides because of the lack of will to live by my ancestors under the control of the priests at the missions.
Some of the tribes fight for water or fishing rights but for us the forgotten tribes we fight for are land are way of life are spiritual well-being but most of all we fight for mankind to recognize…
Source: Why we fight
Some of the tribes fight for water or fishing rights but for us the forgotten tribes we fight for are land are way of life are spiritual well-being but most of all we fight for mankind to recognize that we as a Race of people were here and are still here because without that knowledge we are not complete and for us this is worse than death. All of the other tribes have the movies, Faces on a nickel, even when we have a gathering or a powwow most of the attention is on the other tribes with all of the Regalia and bright colored Regalia that they use. it seems like we just get lost as for our Regalia ours is traditional we were not influenced by the Europeans as most of the other tribes., We don’t have war drums we have bird flutes, clappers, and rattles. And all of are songs that we sing or for our familys and friends and the people that we care most about. It may seem like I am jealous or envious of the other tribes but from my heart I am not but what I am is heartbroken and saddened by the thought that not many people know that we ever existed. there were no streets on the land we once roamed and lived on with our name on any of them. the one chance we had was when they change the name on a school that was named after the first governor of California because of the way he tried to wipe us out as a race of people but they end up naming it after Martha Luther King imagine that this was our land this is where all of our people are buried in yet no one seems to know or care even people like Father Sierra have buildings and streets named after him even after he tortured, murdered, and kidnapped women and children all in the name of the Catholic Church. He has statues throughout the coast of California and we as the race of people that he helped destroy gets less acknowledgment that he does.