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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

City Should Respect Indian Burial Grounds

June 01, 2003

Human burial grounds are respected the world over. No one would willingly desecrate the graves of human beings anywhere, except in San Juan Capistrano, where Junipero Serra High School plans to build an athletic complex over a cultural and historic site called Putiidhem that is hundreds of year old. It does this with the approval of the City Council.

It brings me no comfort or security to know that the high school is working with some Native Americans to be "sensitive and respectful." These people do not represent the majority of our Native American community. My late mother was an Acjachemem elder. She taught me that we do not sell our ancestors and our history for personal gain or money. She sadly showed me many places where our ancestor graves and remains were plundered and destroyed.

Promises were broken. Artifacts and ancestors were disturbed in secrecy behind locked gates and under the cover of night. It doesn't matter how anyone tries to justify this travesty. This is a sadness that will come back to haunt San Juan Capistrano.

Rhonda Robles

Long Beach

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