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Buildings to be renamed to honor tribal legacy

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The University of San Diego has announced plans to rename “Serra Hall” to “Saints Tekakwitha and Serra Hall” in honor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American Catholic saint, and St. Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan who personally founded the first nine of the 21 California missions. The university will also rename the Mission Crossroads building to Mata’yuum, which means “gathering place” in the language of the Kumeyaay Nation. USD President James T. Harris III said, “It is hoped that by placing these two Catholic saints together, we will recognize that indigenous peoples preceded the Catholic missionaries who settled here. It is also meant to encourage continued dialogue on the important topics of colonialization, the spread of the Catholic faith and the impact both had on Native American populations.” The name changes, approved by the USD Board of Trustees, will be made during the Fall 2019 semester under the guidance of a task force. Plans include certain ceremonies and symposia.

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