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Native community honors University decision to rename Serra House, Serra Mall

Oct 5 2018

From the Stanford Daily article by Julia Ingram (October 1, 2018)--

"Stanford's Native American comunity has issued a statement praising the University's decision to rename some campus features honoring California mission system founder Junipero Serra, who has been criticized for his mistreatmet of Native Americans.


"The statement (below), sent to Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne...wrote that the decision is an 'important milestone'--


Dear President Tessier-Lavigne,

We honor the decision to remove Father Junipero Serra’s name from select campus landmarks.  We especially honor the many voices of Stanford students, staff and faculty who engaged in thoughtful inquiry, compelling conversations and scholarly research to better understand the complex impact of the Serra name and legacy for over three years.  We also acknowledge the extensive work of the Renaming Committee that generated the reasoned recommendation to rename, as well as the support of the Board of Trustees.


We are committed to meaningful collaboration with campus partners to deepen the understanding of Native American History and to advance the conversation to uplift Native voices and further their engagement in scholarship, leadership, and innovation.  We mark this important milestone as an opportunity to co-design enhanced learning opportunities and reconciliation pathways across campus and beyond.  Together, we are uniquely positioned to reimagine the landscape honoring Native American excellence.



Carson Smith, Will Paisley, and Gabriel Saiz, Co-Chairs, Stanford American Indian Organization

Karen Biestman, Denni Woodward, and Greg Graves, Staff, Native American Cultural Center

Teresa LaFromboise, Chair of Native American Studies