Amah Mutsun Tribe invites public to conference at UC Santa Cruz to reconsider the legacy of Spanish explorer Portolá

Pictured: Mike Carbajal from the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band dances to honor his ancestors at Holy Cross Cemetery in Santa Cruz during Summer Solstice ceremony.(Photo: Dan Coyro)

Nothing to celebrate: Reconsidering the legacy of Portolá

News Release

Amah Mutsun Tribal Band 

In 1769, Spanish soldier and explorer Gaspar de Portolá became the first known European to conduct an overland expedition into what would become California. On October 16 of that year, Portolá passed through Santa Cruz.

While events around the Bay Area will be held in October and November to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first European sighting of the San Francisco Bay, many indigenous people in California consider this an occasion to mourn and reflect, not to celebrate.  

The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and American Indian Resource Center of UC Santa Cruz invite the public to this conference to reflect on the destructive legacies of European colonization, to consider how these legacies continue to this day, and to dig deeper into the stories of early California. Together, we will consider what it can look like to confront difficult truths and to begin to heal.

Conference presentations will include:

  • Steven Newcomb: The Papal Bulls and Doctrine of Discovery
  • Dr. Martin Rizzo: Portola’s Encounters with the Guachirron and Quiroste: the Real Story of Indigenous Generosity & Spanish Duplicity
  • Valentin Lopez: The Portola Expedition and California Mission System
  • Dr. Alyce de Carteret: The Spanish Conquest of Native Mesoamerica: From Mexico-Tenochtitlan to Noj Peten
  • Dr. Donna Schindler: Tears of Our Ancestors: Healing from Historical Trauma
  • Deanna Rose Von Bargen, Toni Nash, Molly Arthur: Catholic nuns discuss the challenges of confronting legacies of harm inflicted upon indigenous peoples by the church

Event date: Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Stevenson Event Center, University of California, Santa Cruz

Who is invited: Both UC Santa Cruz affiliates and the general public.

Admission: Free

The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band is comprised of descendants of the Indigenous peoples taken to missions San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz.

Amah Mutsun Tribal Band - seal
(Image: Amah Mutsun Tribal Band)

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