“El Camino Real” Mission Bell Removal Ceremony
SATURDAY, AUGUST 28, 2021
1:00pm @ Mission Plaza Park
Awaswas Territories (Santa Cruz, CA)
Hosted by the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band
Join us to witness the historic removal of the last standing “El Camino Real” mission bell marker in downtown Santa Cruz and learn directly from California Indian leaders and scholars about the true history of the California Mission system.
The City of Santa Cruz has unanimously resolved to remove all El Camino Real bell markers from public property, following requests by the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band—and will now become the first city in California to do so.
The Amah Mutsun are calling for the statewide removal of El Camino Real bell markers and all other monuments that attempt to glorify and celebrate the domination, dehumanization and erasure of the Indigenous people of California.
Mission bells symbolize the enslavement of Indigenous people in the California Mission system. The El Camino Real bell markers were created in the early 1900s to promote automobile tourism and visitation of the missions and to celebrate a white-washed, romanticized and distorted history.
Schedule: A public speaking event at 1:00pm followed by a 1-mile procession starting at 3:00pm to reach the bell removal ceremony location on Soquel Avenue. A limited amount of shuttle service will be available for those who need a lift.
The Soquel Ave bell removal ceremony will conclude at 5:00pm.
The day’s events will be live broadcast, click here to view livestream.
Outdoor event, open to all— MASKS REQUIRED
Facebook event page link (invite friends!)
Bring a mask and your own water bottle. Please spread the word.
Event sponsored by Critical Mission Studies. Bell removal illustration by Irene Juarez O’Connell.
The bell will be replaced immediately with an informational metal sign that will describe the reasons for the bell’s removal. That sign will eventually be replaced by a permanent plaque or memorial which will be developed by the Amah Mutsun in coordination with the City of Santa Cruz.
Find out more about the El Camino Real bells and why tribes in California are calling for their removal at our Why Remove the Bells and Learn More pages.
The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band is comprised of descendants of the Indigenous peoples taken to Mission San Juan Bautista and Mission Santa Cruz.
Learn more about the Amah Mutsun at:
Friday, August 27: Critical Mission Studies Conference on Northern California Missions
On the day prior to the El Camino Real Bell removal ceremony, UC Critical Mission Studies will be holding a conference in Santa Cruz:
Truth-telling, Truth-seeking: Uncovering Painful Histories of the California Missions
Friday, August 27 from 1 to 5:30 pm
Join us for conversations with California Indian researchers, leaders, and allied scholars.
Click here for more information including livestream link and registration.