California university removes bell that Native Americans deemed racist New York Daily News
California university removes bell that Native Americans deemed racist New York Daily News A symbol of Native American oppression wont be taking its toll on a California campus anymore. After significant backlash, the University of California Santa Cruz has removed the El Camino Real, a cast iron bell that memorialized Catholic missions in the California, reported . During a Friday ceremony, university employees took down the bell, which has been called a deeply painful symbol for indigenous people who converted to Christianity at religious missions in the 18th and 19th centuries. Discussions between the school and a California group of Native Americans, known as the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, prompted the bells departure. Valentin Lopez, the chairman of the tribal band, said the bell is a deeply painful symbol for Native Americans whose ancestors converted to Christianity at the missions in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was such a compelling statement of impact and I am pleased we have been able to work in partnership with them on the removal,” said UC Santa Cruzs vice chancellor for business and administrative services Sarah Latham. “Our students have also given voice to the need to remove the bell. The El Camino Real is one of many bells memorializing California missions, which are viewed by many populations as a symbol of racism and dehumanization of their ancestors, read a statement from the university. The bell had been presented to the university by a womens club years ago, the school claimed. These bells are deeply painful symbols that celebrate the destruction, domination and erasure of our people, said Lopez. They are constant reminders of the disrespect our tribe faces to this day.