Posted on September 28, 2021

Newsom Signs Law to Replace Sacramento Junipero Serra Statue With Monument for Tribes

Kim Bojorquez, Sacramento Bee, September 24, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law on Friday that would replace a former statue of a controversial Catholic missionary on the grounds of Sacramento’s Capitol Park with a new monument that honors the region’s Native American tribes.

The bill-signing commemorated Native American Day. Other related bills included in Friday’s signing include a bill that would replace Columbus Day with Native American Day held in September and legislation that would protect Native American students from wearing “items of cultural significance” at high school graduations.

“Today’s action sends a powerful message from the grounds of Capitol Park across California underscoring the state’s commitment to reckoning with our past and working to advance a California for All built on our values of inclusion and equity,” said Newsom in a statement.


Assembly Bill 338, authored by Assemblyman James C. Ramos, D-Highland, would strike a decades-old requirement to keep and maintain a monument of Spanish Missionary Junípero Serra, who was previously referred by Pope Francis as “the evangelizer of the West.”


Protesters toppled Serra’s statue last summer during the nationwide protests spurred by the death of George Floyd {snip} Serra statues in Los Angeles and San Francisco also fell at the hands of activists.

A marble sculpture of Christopher Columbus was removed last year from the Capitol Rotunda at the request of California Democrats {snip}