Historic Mass of Reconciliation: Mission San Juan Bautista

For Immediate Release: December 11, 2012
Historic Mass of Reconciliation
Mission San Juan Bautista
December 22, 2012


On December 22, 2012, Bishop Richard Garcia of the Monterey Diocese will offer a Mass of Reconciliation for the

Historic Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. This mass is an important event in the history of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band

as Bishop Garcia will apologize for the tragic events which occurred during Mission times.

“Our tribe has experienced severe trauma throughout the history of settlement in California. Forced relocations to

missions, bounties on the heads of Native Americans, rape, disease, slavery, cultural genocide, broken treaties and

the continuing denial of our history perpetuates the effects of historic trauma on our citizens. These events, which

nearly destroyed the Mutsun culture, have never been officially acknowledged by the Catholic Church. We view

this Mass of Reconciliation as a very important step along the path of healing for Amah Mutsun, both individually,

as many of our citizens are Catholic to this day, and collectively as a people, accepting our past, celebrating our

resilience and looking to a vibrant future.” said Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun. The mass will

include the presentation of a Resolution which acknowledges the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band as the historic and

continuous Tribe of Mutsun (San Juan) and Awaswas (Santa Cruz) speakers.

The present day Amah Mutsun Tribal Band is comprised of the documented descendants of the Native Americans

who were taken to Missions San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz. The Federal government terminated its relationship

with the Amah Mutsun in approximately 1930 – an act which, to this day, has yet to be rectified. Because of their

lack of Federal status, the Tribe currently has no land. Few citizens can afford to live in the area of their ancestors.

Many reside in Central Valley communities and will be traveling significant distances for this historic event.

This mass, during the time of Winter Solstice, marks an important day of prayer for renewal and hope for the

future of the Mutsun People. Over the last decade, with a Tribal citizenry that is energized, involved, and deeply

committed to achieving self-governance, self-determination, and a sustainable future for Mutsun Lands and

People, we have achieved significant accomplishments: recognition as a Tribal Government by the State of

California; a new level of cooperation at both National and State Parks; educational programs for our people and

the public; the establishment of a Tribal Land Trust and; a revitalization of Mutsun language and culture. None of

these would be possible without the ardent support of our government, academic, conservation and community

partners for whom we are truly grateful. For this important opportunity to reflect, accept and meet the challenges

of the future together, the Tribe wishes to express our thanks to Bishop Garcia for offering apologies from the

Church and for this mass of reconciliation.



Events for the Day of Reconciliation include the following:


10:15am Fire Starting Ceremony

11:30am Traditional Dance of the Mutsun Tribe*

1:00pm Mass of Reconciliation

2:30pm A meal, which will include acorn, deer and elk, will be shared between Bishop Garcia, priests

from the Monterey Diocese, Tribal citizens, invited Elders from other tribes, friends and partners.


*Dance to be on State Parks and Recreation grass quad area in front of Old Mission Church in San Juan Bautista.

The public is welcomed to observe; limited seating for the mass will be available.

The mass will also be recorded and aired on CMAP’s local cable access television channels at a later date. DVDs will

be made available through CMAP, at www.cmap.tv or by emailing info@cmap.tv.


Valentin Lopez, Tribal Chairman, is available for interviews and more information about this event at
(916) 743-5833, or vjltestingcenter@aol.com.



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