Ann-Marie Sayers. Photo by Kirti Bassendine.

San Benito Lifestyle

BL Longform: Mutsun people dream of returning to their ancestral land

Few indigenous families still live in San Benito County.

Photo courtesy of Media and Public Affairs for the Office of Governor Newsom. The governor is surrounded by some members of California's indigenous tribes at his June announcement.


Local tribe refuses governor’s apology 

Amah Mutsun turns down the olive branch offered by Governor Newsom and suggests measures state can take to heal past atrocities.

University of Arizona Professor of Linguistics, Natasha Warner (standing), assisting Amah Mutsun Tribal Band chairman, Val Lopez, with his Mutsun pronunciation. Photos by Frank Perez.

Mutsun descendants learn their ancestral tongue in San Juan

Nearly 80 Mutsun descendants attended a dictionary distribution and language workshop on June 24 in San Juan Bautista. The event was the first since the most comprehensive Mutsun-English, English-Mutsun dictionary was published online last year

A map of the proposed Sargent Quarry mining project. Courtesy of Santa Clara County).

Government / Politics

Citing cultural degradation and religious desecration, local tribe opposes mining project

The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band argues that a proposed mining project in southern Santa Clara County threatens its historical and cultural preservation

A portion of the Mutsun dictionary. Courtesy of Natasha Warner, Lynnika Butler and Quirina Geary. 2016. Mutsun-English English-Mutsun Dictionary: mutsun-inkiS inkiS-mutsun riica pappel. Language Documentation & Conservation Special Publication no. 11. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.  672 pages.

San Benito Lifestyle

Nearly 20 Years in the Making, Dictionary Awakens Mutsun Language

Spearheaded by Amah Mutsun tribal member, Quirina Geary, and University of Arizona Professor of Linguistics, Natasha Warner, new Mutsun dictionary is born through an effort at language revitalization

The Native Plant Garden at the San Juan Bautista State Historic Park. Photos by Frank Perez.

Native Plant Garden In SJB Sows Knowledge, Hope for Local Tribe

The Native Plant Garden in San Juan Bautista provides cultural knowledge for the Amah Mutsun and teaches others about the tribe's continued presence in our county.


Trust works to preserve ancestral tribal lands in San Benito County

Event on Amah Mutsun Land Trust featured a critically-acclaimed film and presentations by tribal members and representatives

Flyer for the screening of "Here and Now." Courtesy of Bay Area Open Space Council.

Amah Mutsun Tribal Band’s Land Trust is Subject of Short Film

Produced by Bay Area Open Space Council, "Here and Now" documents the efforts of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band's Land Trust

Statue of Fr. Junipero Serra at Mission San Juan Bautista. Photo by Frank Perez.

11th Hour Efforts Bid to Halt Fr. Junipero Serra’s Canonization

With its sixth letter written to Pope Francis and two scheduled press conferences, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band is hoping that the Catholic Church will jettison Serra's seemingly inevitable sainthood

Julisa Lopez at the first-ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering on July 9. Photo courtesy of Julisa Lopez.

Amah Mutsun tribal member inspired by White House trip

Julisa Lopez, an 18-year-old member of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, joined nearly 1,000 Native American youth at the first-ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering on July 9.

Invocations from Day of Prayer Event Oppose Fr. Junipero Serra’s canonization

At all-day event held in San Juan on July 11, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and its supporters called upon others to join them in exposing the "truth" behind Serra and his road to sainthood

Flier announcing the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band's Day of Prayer.

Amah Mutsun Tribal Band to hold event opposing Fr. Junipero Serra’s canonization

On Saturday, July 11, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band will hold a Day of Prayer in San Juan Bautista opposing Serra's canonization.

Tribal Youth Gathering guest, Julisa Lopez

Amah Mutsun Tribal Member will Attend White House Event

Julisa Lopez, an 18-year-old member of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, is traveling to Washington, D.C. to participate in the first-ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering on July 9

Val (Valentin) Lopez making a speech before a U.N. body. Courtesy of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Opposing the canonization of Father Junipero Serra on the world stage

As Father Junipero Serra's canonization draws near, a representative from the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band travels to the United Nations to oppose it.


Historic Mass of Reconciliation at Mission San Juan Bautista on Saturday, December 22, 2012

On December 22, 2012, Bishop Richard Garcia of the Monterey Diocese will offer a Mass of Reconciliation for the Historic Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.