Rare ceremony held to reinter Native American remains

Remains found during renovation of Mission San Juan Capistrano


In a first-of-its-kind ceremony, the remains of dozens of Native American families were reinterred Saturday at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

The remains were discovered last year during renovations conducted at the mission.

The ceremony served as an apology for disturbing the burial ground of Native Americans who died hundreds of years ago.

"We feel that once the human being is laid to rest and goes to the spirit world, that's where they should be," said Isaac Cardenas, whose father was part of the Tap Pilam Coahuitecan nation.

Cardenas said the ceremony had to be created because there is not a ceremony to reinter disturbed remains.

Some of the remains were once on display at museums.

The remains reinterred Saturday join the nearly 150 remains that were buried at the mission more than a decade ago.

The public was invited to the ceremony in an attempt to educate people about those who called San Antonio home long ago.

"I see this as a good day, as an education, as a historical moment in our time and especially for our children," said Cardenas.

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