SANTA CRUZ (AP) — The University of California, Santa Cruz invited community members to the campus to witness the removal Friday of the El Camino Real Bell marking 18th-century Catholic missions that Native Americans say glorifies racism.

Named after the route taken by Franciscan priests, the bell was one of hundreds displayed across the state.

Many Native Americans say the missions cut their ancestors off from their traditional languages and cultures and enslaved those who converted to Christianity.

The university’s vice chancellor of business and administrative services, Sarah Latham, said the decision to remove the bell came after outreach attempts this past academic year.

The school listened to members of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band as well as students and community members about what the bell meant to them, she said.

The university ultimately moved forward with the removal “in support of efforts to be more inclusive,” Latham said.

The Amah Mutsun identified two acceptable options for the disposal of the bell: placing it in a museum with proper historical context or melting it down.

The university hasn’t yet decided on the bell’s fate but it will “do more outreach” to find the best solution, Latham said.

The bell was placed on the campus in the 1990s and was a copy of the original mission bells.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Comments (27)
  1. Rodrigo Rojas Britez says:

    Stupid Americans and Native Americans. It was the Anglo-Saxon colonizers who exterminated the natives of California; not the Spanish. Damned hypocrites

    1. Luis Vidal says:

      That’s right. Truly the work of Satan, absolutely contemptible. UC ignorant clowns need to get “inclusive” at someone else’s expense, not us Hispanics. That bell represents the very good Catholic civilization Spain brought to the region. It was not us who genocided the Indians, it was the United States who did that. Please tear down every statue of every single US president instead because every last one is a war criminal. May God rain his rebuke down on UC.

  2. Greg Stahlman says:

    From facebook……Wow. As a Native American living on the federal Indian Reservation in Northern California I feel the need to share some thoughts and feelings about this issue. Again I am only expressing my own opinion and not speaking for anybody else or My Tribe. We have 80% unemployment drugs and alcohol along with suicide are very prevalent. I am one of the few that own a small business that supports my family. And the only one to have a corporation within my community. I have no formal education other than graduating from the eighth grade. I did not receive a high school diploma instead I went to work in the timber industry which dwindled it is now replaced by the marijuana industry. Which I do not partake in. I pride myself and trying to be an example and a mentor for our younger generation to look up to. What amazes me here is the thought pattern on who is this affecting. If I was to sit here and concentrate about atrocities that happened buy some one else’s hands 100 years ago and I passed that on to my younger generation then I have failed at The Game of Life because that’s what they will concentrate on. And in my world that is a form of Oppression to my younger generation. Removing a bell or statue or whatever does not affect me or change the course of my community. I have no ill feelings towards anybody. But if you want to concentrate on a topic that has no effect on moving forward our younger generation then I don’t want no part of it. How will this help my community? Will a person feel better if the Bell is gone? Will the Bell being gone put food on my table? Will the Bell being gone educate my kids? Will the Bell being gone stop the suicide or the drugs? So reading these articles I guess make someone feel good somewhere. Somewhere where they have no experience living in Indian country. Thanks for trying to make me feel better I guess but I can do that myself without holding a bell responsible

  3. Jim Smith says:

    uhhh can we remove UCSC too? built on indian land…. im part Cherokee but im also born and babptized there. shall we change the name of santa cruz bay too? how bout drakes bay, san Francisco, santa cruz also. tbh that bell is pretty small. shall we remove sacramento as a name, san jose, los angeles. how bout keeping open land instead of building on it. this token move is pretty worthless , maybe dozens see it. how bout instead focusing on tribal cultural history and education, in two days this bell will be forgotten, and as it was mostly anyway. I grew up here and I never knew it was there. just a media ploy.

  4. Jack Borges says:

    Pathetic uneducated idiots. How sad. Next, Washingtons face on the dollar and quarter will be replaced with a snowflake.

  5. Raymond Cervenka says:

    Are the bell protected and does the school legally have the right to remove them>
    Originally there were about 450 bells along El Camino Real, but because of theft and vandalism the number dwindled to about 75. In response, the Legislature appointed Caltrans as guardian of the bells in 1974, responsible for repairing or replacing them.

  6. Good or bad is history.. Shame, they are trying to be politically correct and denying history won’t change a thing..

  7. Stephen P. Ridolfi Sr. says:

    The Lord gives and the Lord takes away! Not man!

  8. Noemí Toral says:

    Descendants of those who put the Indians in reserves by removing a symbol of the people who treated the Indians as human beings.
    And people applauding it!
    How dumb and simple minded they are..

    USA don´t know how much to do to erase the hispanic part of their history. A part that, obviously, they do not like, because it makes clear that the bad guys in the history of America were the north Europeans (from which they descend) and not the Spaniards.
    Behind the courtains of this “politically correct” charade there is something more obscure and super racist: The current problem of immigration (created by USA by impoverishing the continent draining resources and manipulating governments). The hispanic population united and proud of themeselves is a menace to USA interests so they are following an strategy of “divide and win” demonizing this part of history that would make hispanics strong (again).

    There is a saying for this situation “Make firewood from the fallen tree”. It means to be cruel with someone who is helpless (in this case the Spanish empire), a kind of bullying which is a sign of frustration and cowardice, because do not have the courage to attack who is really hurting you (USA-north european descendants) because it is still strong.

  9. Bob Ladwig says:

    The self hating whites are at it again…

  10. Parakax Garduño says:

    Soy español europeo y no escribo bien en inglés lo siento. Mi opinión es que en España y Europa las civilizaciones,pueblos que han dejado huella en el país tendemos a conservarlos y no destruirlos porque para bien o para mal es parte de nuestra historia. A nadie se le ocurriría destrozar un monumento romano por esclavizar a los nativos.Estoy de acuerdo con Greg que la campana no les va a devolver sus carencias sino el gobierno de U,S.A. que fue quien se los robo.Un saludo desde España

  11. Donald Black says:

    Ok hispanic revisionist. Let’s play. Who established the missions? HIspanics. Who enslaved the natives? Hispanics Who tortured the natives when they wouldn’t convert? Hispanics. Who drove the natives off their land and made them prisoners in the Missions? Hispanics. Who when the Anglos were killing natives wholesale then offered to shelter those near them but required conversion first? Hispanics. We Anglos have a lot of blood on our hands and a lot to answer for, but the Hispanic community has a lot to answer for as well. You certainly shouldn’t paint yourselves as treating the native population humanly. That would be the height of hypocrisy.