california missions?

So: one of the most annoying/odious things i have to do at my current library is to find pictures of the California Missions for kids so they can build mini versions of them. That part (finding the pictures) isn't bad- i know how to find them, the Online Archive of California is pretty user friendly with its image search. But the fact that the kids are BUILDING MISSIONS is really gross to me! I'd like some feedback on this: do kids who grow up in the South build plantations? I know some of those Southern houses are pretty buildings- just like the Missions- but to glorify the architecture means glorifying their Spanish colonial history (and not necessarily glorifying the enslavement of Native Americans, but certainly pushing it way in the background).

I'm also a temporary contract librarian, so there's no way at the moment that i can really build a relationship with teachers around here and have discussions around this, which might be cool...

California Missions

I had to make a map of California missions when I was in fourth grade 39 years ago. My impression of native slavery was that it was not not important (this as nine year old). I think that because of the general genocide of native Americans the fact that they were enslaved was irrelevant. There was also that impression that while slavery of Africans in the US was part of our US heritage that slavery of natives was by Spaniards and thus not so relevant. It would be interesting to know if the pedagogy about genocide has changed out there. I had the impression growing up that the first people of California just faded away rather than having been exterminated as a matter of policy.

I can't vouch for the South,

I can't vouch for the South, but growing up in the 80s in New York City I had to build a model of a Medieval European castle. Let's just say that there weren't too many in-depth discussions about the monarchy and feudalism (or the plague for that matter).

When I was an assistant teacher in California in the mid-2000s the students had to give group reports about the missions, but nobody built a model. The lesson included readings about Father Junípero Serra and the enslavement of indigenous people. I don't think any student thought very highly of the mission system after that.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.