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San Diego’s Connection To Junipero Serra

Aired 1/16/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Gregory Orfalea, author, Journey to the Sun, Junipero Serra's Dream and the Founding of Californian

Transcript

The legacy of 18th century Spanish priest Junipero Serra depends largely on who you ask. Father Serra founded the first missions in California, the very first here in San Diego. His goal was to convert the native people of California and teach them skills, needed by the colonial government — like farming. Many revisionist historians paint Junipero Serra as a villain who dispensed harsh discipline and adopted a patronizing attitude toward Native Americans. Others say that, considering the attitudes of his time, Father Serra actually fought for better treatment of the Indians under colonial rule.

Journey to the Sun

A biography takes on the subject of this driven, controversial figure. It's called "Journey to the Sun -- Junipero Serra's Dream and the founding of California."

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