Sainthood may reserve a prominent space in heaven for California missionary Junipero Serra, but a statue of the 18th century Roman Catholic priest will soon no longer have a home in front of Ventura City Hall.
Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, representatives from the Barbareño/Venureño Band of Mission Indians and Father Tom Elewaut, pastor of nearby Mission San Buenaventura, issued a joint statement Thursday agreeing to take down the statue and have it “moved to a more appropriate non-public location.”
“I always knew that this moment, despite all the issues our people have faced, would happen,” Chief Julie Tumamait Stenslie, whose Barbareño/Venureño Band comprises Chumash members, said in a phone interview Thursday evening. “We’re constantly fighting to correct our history, and if there was ever a time to speak up, the time was now.”
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