SAN ANTONIO -- Toss out the question 'What's in a name?' in reference to the historic San Antonio Missions and the answer is a lot.
"The oldest name, I guess, that people call them is the Old Spanish Missions of San Antonio," said Susan Snow of the National Parks Service.
As part of the missions' nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List, the National Parks Service is considering a name change.
In fact, the National Parks Service is considering a suggestion of their own.
"We came up with the name, San Antonio Franciscan Missions," Snow said.
However, several other groups want the missions named after the American Indians that were assimilated by the Franciscans.
In the early 1700s, the Franciscans established the missions along the San Antonio River under Spain's rule to convert Native Americans to Catholicism. By 1823, the missions were no longer under Spanish rule and secularized.
Ramon Vasquez is the Executive Director of the American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions and a leading proponent in changing the missions name to reflect its Native American heritage.
"I have nothing against Franciscans, nothing against the Catholic Church," Vasquez said. "People come to San Antonio and don't even know that we have Indians here."
Vasquez goes on to state, "If it was up to me, I would prefer something that would pay tribute to the Native Americans of San Antonio, something like the San Antonio Indian Missions."
"These walls were built by Indians, the fields were labored by Indians, the Franciscans didn't build them," Vasquez said.
What's a name that could make everyone happy?
"I would say that the San Antonio Missions sounds like an excellent name," Snow said.