Category: Uncategorized

“This mission that our people burnt down”—Closing Ceremony in San Diego

On November 7th 2015, the Walk for the Ancestors reached its final destination at Mission San Diego after two months and what turned out to be over 780 miles of walking. 130 people joined together at dusk for… Read More

Together in the rain San Luis Rey » “El Camino Real was our Trail of Tears”

On Tuesday at 5:30pm in from of Mission San Luis Rey, we stood on the steps of the chapel in pouring rain. It was dark out, except for the occasional flash of distant lightning. Nevertheless, we soon found… Read More

Mission San Juan Capistrano and the messages in the walls

On Sunday, November 1st, we reached San Juan Capistrano, navigating past a dizzying array of mission-themed tourist shops. “First there was Mission San Juan Capistrano,” an Acjachemen friend wryly remarked to us. “Then, there was Disneyland.” In front… Read More

“This place is ours”—Tataviam families return to Mission San Fernando

Saturday, October 24th was an unforgettable day. Tataviam families gathered to receive the Walk for the Ancestors, taking over the plaza of Mission San Fernando for three hours with storytelling, traditional songs, and dance. It was the first… Read More

San Luis Obsipo: Grizzly Bears and Flaming Arrows

At San Luis Obispo, we were received by a strong circle of Northern Chumash families and other local native and non-native people, some from as far away as the Kern Valley Indian Community in Bakersfield. Chairwoman Mona Olivas… Read More

They tell on themselves: Stories of runaways and soldiers at Mission San Miguel

Just before sunset, we gathered outside the San Miguel mission cemetery, holding hands as Patti Dunton of the Salinan Tribe led a prayer and walked around us, singing a Salinan blessing song with a bull kelp rattle. She… Read More

The missing burial ground: What’s not happening…in Soledad

We reached Mission Soledad in the afternoon of September 27th after traversing the bone-dry Salinas River and the vast maze of agribusiness operations that spans the Salinas Valley. Of all the 21 Missions, this is the one we… Read More

Reportback from Carmel: “It’s not over. This just makes us stronger.”

On the morning of September 23rd, we arrived to Mission Carmel, bracing ourselves for a day we had not been looking forward to. In the Mission courtyard, about 75 people sat in plastic chairs, enthusiastically preparing to watch… Read More

Standing Vigil at Sunset in San Juan Bautista

After a long Sunday’s journey in the sweltering heat, we arrived at San Juan Bautista as the sun was preparing to set on the golden hills surrounding the valley. An eerie billboard on the edge of town reads,… Read More

Standing for the Ancestors in Santa Cruz, 80 strong

Saturday morning, we stood together with over 80 people of all ages, forming a giant circle at the very place where Mission Santa Cruz once towered over this land. All spoke aloud in turn their reasons for being… Read More