UC San Diego SearchMenu

2013–2014 California Native American Day Celebration

This year's California Native American Day celebration theme is "Honoring Tradition through Culture and Education."

California Native American Day was established as an official state holiday in 1998. Today, all California schools recognize the fourth Friday in September as an official Native American holiday.

UC San Diego's California Native American Day Celebration committee promotes events to enhance the relationship between San Diego's tribal communities and UC San Diego students, staff and faculty. All events are free and open to the public.

March 1–April 11, 2014

UC San Diego's annual California Native American Day (CANA-Day) Celebration High School Essay Contest

Open to all 9th through 12th graders in San Diego County, this year's celebration theme is "Honoring Tradition through Culture and Education."

Prizes include four $250 first-place cash awards. One winner will be eligible to receive an additional $500 Incentive Scholarship which will be awarded upon being admitted and enrolled at UC San Diego within four years of high school graduation.

The application deadline is Friday, April 11, 2014. Winners will be notified by April 25, 2014.

All entrants are invited to attend UC San Diego's annual Powwow, to be held in May 2014, hosted by UC San Diego's Native American Student Alliance (NASA).

Download the application

Submit completed essay and application to the California Native Day Essay Contest Committee:


or regular mail:

UC San Diego CANA-Day Essay Contest
c/o Irma Velasco
Office of the Chancellor
9500 Gilman Drive #0005
San Diego, CA 92093-0005

May 3, 2014

Fourth Annual PowWow

Previous Events:

September 2013

California Native American Day Celebration Kickoff

Program: Lunch, blessing, and prayer, performances
Rincon Youth Storytellers and Viejas Asha Takuk (Bird Singers)

Date: Friday, Sept. 27
Time: noon–1:30 p.m. (lunch noon–12:30 p.m., program 12:30–1:30 p.m.)
Location: International Center (map)
Contact: Melinda Beyerle, (858) 822-3808

October 2013

AIR 20th Annual Fundraiser Banquet

Date: Thursday, Oct 10
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center at San Diego State University
More details: http://airprograms.org

Running Grunion — Abel Silvas

Abel Silvas will combine comedy, storytelling, and mime, offering an interpretation of Native American history and culture from past to present.

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013
Time: 9–11 a.m., 4 performances on the half hour.

  • First performance: 9–9:20 a.m. in rooms 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B
  • Second performance: 9:30–9:50 a.m. in rooms 5 and 6
  • Third performance: 10–10:30 a.m. in rooms 3 and 4
  • Fourth performance: 10:40–11 a.m. in rooms 7, 8, and Mesa

Location: Early Childhood Education Center (map)
Contact: Anna Bascom, (858) 246-0927 

Social Justice LENS Film Presentation (Leadership Educational Engagement, Networking, Service in Community)
Hosted by Cross Cultural Center

Fry Bread Babes: In 21st Century American mass media where are the Native American women? The images that exist are stereotypical, so how does the lack of images in the mass media affect Native American women? Growing up without seeing other Native American women who look like your mother and aunties does affect your body image and sense of self. The filmmaker explores body image and identity in this powerful and intimate documentary.

Two-Spirit People: the Berdache Tradition in Native American: Examines the concepts of gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation in Native American cultures, focusing on the tradition of berdaches.

Date: Tuesday, Oct. 29
Time: 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Location: Cross Cultural Center (map)
Contact: Joseph RamirezNancy Magpusao, (858) 534-9689

November 2013

Native Community Welcome Dinner Hosted by the Native American Student Alliance (NASA)

Date: Friday, Nov. 1
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Cross Cultural Center (map)

Native American/ Indigenous Studies Research Symposium

Date:  Thursday, Nov. 7
More details to come

Native American Graduate School Information Workshop & Dinner Hosted by Office of Graduate Studies (OGS)

All undergraduates are welcome — to reserve a seat call (858) 822-3536.

Date: Thursday, Nov. 7
Time 5–7 p.m.
Location: Chancellor's complex, conference room 111A (map)
Contact: Veronica Henson-Phillips, (858) 822-3536

Note: This page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/nativeamerican