At Wilderness Youth Project, we are grateful for the opportunity to bring kids outside. For 18 years WYP has been meeting at the Rose Garden near the Santa Barbara Mission.
When WYP first began meeting at the Rose Garden, we chose the spot because it is a central and accessible Santa Barbara location. As many of you know and some of you have reflected back to us, there is a history of harm at the Mission and the Rose Garden. Missions were sites of conflict, conquest, and forced labor. We are not comfortable meeting there, which is why we will be shifting away from this meeting site by summer 2023.
Some resources to learn more about the history of the Santa Barbara Mission and the California mission system:
- Independent article by Marcus V. Lopez of the Barbareno Chumash Council of Santa Barbara.
- A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions. As retired U.S. Senator Ben Nightorse Campbell wrote, “Mr. Castillo tells a story of which far too many people are simply not aware, the enslavement of California Indians under the mission system. While many Americans know of the Trail of Tears and other Indian atrocities, most do not know of the atrocities perpetrated on Indian people in California.”
In gratitude for the land, the people and especially to the children,
Wilderness Youth Project