California campus removes bell marking Catholic missions

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California university has removed a bell marking the 18th century Catholic missions that Native Americans say glorifies racism.

The University of California, Santa Cruz invited community members to witness the removal Friday of the El Camino Real bell.

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

The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band identified two acceptable options for the disposal of the bell: placing it in a museum with proper historical context, or melting it down. The bell’s fate isn’t immediately known.

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

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