Sunday would have been the 300th birthday of Father Junipero Serra, who established missions across California, laying a foundation for the growth of the Catholic Church. Serra is still an esteemed figure in the church, but the intrusion of missions and Spanish soldiers has been blamed for the exploitation and death of many Native Americans. We discuss the Franciscan missionary's life and legacy with the author of a new Serra biography.
Junipero Serra's Complex Legacy
(Steven Cuevas/Courtesy Huntington Library)
Steven Hackel, associate professor of history at the University of California, Riverside and the Author of "Junipero Serra: California's Founding Father"