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Indian Woman Makes Plea


An Indian woman of the Shumash tribe, who identified herself as “Chequeesh” briefly interrupted the Serra Bicentennial Mass Aug 28.

The woman, during the time between Communion and the closing prayer, took center stage on the platform of the altar to deliver a passionate plea for her people.

Her statement to the crowd was quiet and calm. She just asked that on occasion that honor such people as Junipero Serra that the contributions of Indians be remembered, too. She reminded the crowd that the remains of her people were buried at the California missions and the lives of her people contributed greatly to the building of the missions.

She left the platform as gracefully as she arrived. Before she departed, she left a feather symbolizing her people and their contributions on a depiction of the Serra Commemorative Stamp, which was displayed to the left of the altar.

Chequeesh told The Observer that she and her people were peaceful, spiritual people. She said that she objected to the practice of taking Indians into the enclosures of the mission walls against their will.

With tears in her eyes she said, “It must be acknowledged that thousands of my people died as a result of the missions.”

Aug 29 (?) year (?)


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