The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2019
Nathan Banda (949) 545-8860
Pat Martz (949) 246-3076
Joyce Perry (949) 293-8522
Rebecca Robles (949) 573-3138
Acjachemen People and Allies Hold Prayer Rally
to Protect and Preserve Sacred Site in San Juan Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano – August 20, 2019 Join Acjachemen people and our friends as we call for justice to preserve and protect the sacred site of Putuidem in the Northwest Open Space of San Juan Capistrano. Meet at 4pm at intersection of Paseo Adelanto and Del Obispo in San Juan, Capistrano, and be part of our march to City Hall.
The Acjachemen are the Indigenous peoples of Orange County. Putuidem is the village in the northern part of present day San Juan Capistrano. Tribal leaders and community members have worked for decades to preserve this sacred site. Plans for an educational culture park and open air museum have been approved by three previous San Juan Capistrano city councils. The current city council wants to rescind plans despite previous budget approvals for building, design, and maintenance of the park. The current city council wants to backpedal on their previous approval and instead, consider development of a recreational vehicle camping park at Putuidem. Stand with us on August 20thas we demand justice to protect our history and culture. We want the City Council to keep their word and move forward to establish the park that was promised to the Acjachemen.
The main portion of Putuidem lies beneath the JSerra High School. Putuidem village is listed on the Native American Heritage Commission’s Sacred Lands File for the State of California, and deemed eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Ninety percent of all cultural and archeological sites in Orange County have been destroyed. The building of the park is perceived by the Acjachemen as an opportunity for community healing.
California Governor Gavin Newsom recently apologized to Native Americans for violence and other wrong doings suffered during California’s history, and called the mistreatment genocide.
In an executive order he called for a Truth and Healing Council to produce a report before 2024. Newsom cited an 1851 address to the state legislature by California’s first governor, Peter Burnett. “That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races until the Indian race becomes extinct must be expected,” Burnett stated. The erasure of the Acjachemen people from history is a continuation of that genocide that began so many years ago. Now, here at Putuidem, over 150 years later, is the right time for the truth and healing to begin.
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