"Walk for the Ancestors" decrying Serra Sainthood to end at Mission San Diego, public invited to ceremony
Gather with us at 4:00pm on Saturday, November 7th 2015 in front of Mission San Diego (10818 San Diego Mission Road), to receive the walkers and participate in ceremony.
For the past two months, Fernandéno Tataviam descendants Caroline Ward Holland and Kagen Holland have been leading a 650+ mile pilgrimage, walking to each of the 21 California Missions. Their purpose is to honor the Indigenous ancestors who suffered and perished in the mission system and assert California Indian rejection of sainthood for Junipero Serra.
In Caroline Ward Holland's words, "We are walking to honor our ancestors, at this time when they’re being so totally disrespected: to acknowledge everything they went through, all the atrocities. The truth needs to be told."
“They keep saying Serra was a man of his time," Ward Holland said. "But there is no time, anywhere, anyplace, when it’s OK to be treated the way that our people were treated."
On Saturday, November 7th, the walkers will join together at 4:00pm with local Kumeyaay representatives and other native and non-native community members, to hold a closing ceremony. Stories pertaining to the missions and the Walk will be shared, and prayerful space will be held in honor of the Kumeyaay ancestors that are buried en-masse on the mission grounds.
The public and press are invited to participate in this ceremony. Members of the press are encouraged to arrive early at 3:00 or 3:30pm if they would like to conduct interviews with walk representatives. Walk leader Caroline Ward Holland is also available for phone interviews in the days leading up to November 7th, as the walk continues southward on the coast from Orange County.
The walkers will be releasing a final statement on Saturday that summarizes their observations over two months of walking, calls for widespread changes in the management of the 21 historic missions, and recommends next steps towards acknowledgement and reconciliation.
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