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2015–2016 California Native American Day Celebration

The tenth annual California Native American Day celebration theme is "Unsettled Stories: Reclaiming This Land."

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

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


California Native American Day Celebration Kickoff

Program: Blessing, Welcome remarks, Bird Singing, Creation Story Workshop

Date: Friday, Sept. 25, 2015
Time: Noon – 2:00 p.m. (lunch/ program noon – 1 p.m., workshop 1–2 p.m.)
Location: International Center

Contact: chanintern@ucsd.edu


Native Community Welcome Dinner

Co-sponsored by Native American Student Association and Chancellor’s Office

Date: Friday, October 9, 2015
Time: 6:30–8:30 p.m.
Location: Cross-Cultural Center, Comunidad Room (map)

Contact: Native American Student Alliance

Description: Welcome dinner for alumni, Native American students, and Chancellor’s Fellows.

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: Oct. 27, 2015
Time: 9:00–11:00 a.m., 4 performances as follows:

  • 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: ECEC, (858) 246-0927

Description: Abel Silvas will combine comedy, storytelling and mime, offering an interpretation of Native American history and culture from past to present at UC San Diego’s Early Childhood Education Center.


Tradition by Moderns: Native American Women Artists in California

Month-long exhibit curated by UCSD undergraduates

Date: Open throughout November, Wednesdays-Sundays
Time: Noon – 4 p.m.
Location: Women’s Museum of California, Liberty Landing, 2730 Historic Decatur Road, Barracks 16

Contact: Ross Frank, rfrank@ucsd.edu

Description: There is much to be gained from listening to another perspective when understanding historical and social realities. Although Native women have always played an integral role in indigenous culture, their stories are not as well known because other historical narratives have taken precedent. To illustrate the visual sovereignty established by Native American women artists in California, we present these selected works by Eva Salazar, Jean Lamarr, Jamie Okuma, Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie, and Joyce, Juanita and Jessa Rae Growing Thunder-Fogarty. Native women artists, like those whose work form the focus of this exhibit, have found ways to strengthen their messages and culture through their art.

The exhibition is organized by the Woman’s Museum of California and curated by nine students enrolled in the Representing Native America course at the University of California, San Diego, led by Ross Frank, Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies.

Native American Student Research Symposium

Hosted by the Graduate Division

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

Date: Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015
Time: 5–7 p.m.
Location: Cross-Cultural Center, Communidad room (map)

Contact: Elisa Maldonado, emmaldonado@ucsd.edu

Description: Presentation of research relating to Native America and Indigenous peoples and issues and discussion of the UCSD Tribal Initiative for graduate applicants.

Colloquium: Professor Amy Lonetree (UCSC)

Indigenizing Museums and the Move Toward Decolonization: Successes and Ongoing Challenges

Native American-Indigenous Studies Series, Department of Ethnic Studies

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015
Time: 6–8 p.m.
Location: 107 Social Science Building

Contact: ethnicstudies@ucsd.edu

Description: The relationship between Indigenous communities and mainstream museums has changed significantly in recent decades as a result of Indigenous activism and new museum theory and practice. These changes include the sharing of curatorial authority, collaborative partnerships, and efforts to decolonize museums.  Lonetree’s research examines the current state of contemporary exhibition practices at both national and tribal museums.  Central to her analysis is exploring how museums can serve as sites of decolonization through honoring Indigenous knowledge and worldview, and discussing the hard truths of colonization in exhibitions in an effort to promote healing and understanding.

Native American Film Festival

Film: The Activist

with a talk back by actor Tonantzin Carmelo (Tonva | Kumeyay)

Co-sponsored by Native American Council and Cross-Cultural Center

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015
Time: 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Cross-Cultural Center, Comunidad Room (map)

Contact: Nancy Magpusao, nmagpusao@ucsd.edu

Description: A political thriller during the Wounded Knee insurrection in 1973. Two activists are arrested and held in custody in a sheriff's office. They will meet a Nixon advisor, a lawyer, a senator and a movie star who is also an activist.

Keynote Speaker:  Persephone Hooper (Yomba Band Shoshone, USD, UCSD alum)

"We" Not "I":  the Importance of CommUNITY in the Lives of Native Students, Faculty, and Staff

Co-sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies 25th Anniversary Events

Date: Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015
Time: 6–8 p.m.
Location: Cross-Cultural Center, Communidad room (map)

Contact: chanintern@ucsd.edu

Description: Community is a central aspect of the Native American experience on and off reservations. In order for Native students, staff, and faculty to flourish and succeed in a college environment, there must be a concerted effort to create spaces and programs on campus that foster a sense of belonging. Perse Lewis will provide insights on the importance of creating, strengthening, and sustaining a Native community on college campuses.


Stories from the Indian Boarding School

By the Native Voices Artists Ensemble

Co-sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies 25th Anniversary Events and Department of Theatre and Dance

Date: December 1, 2015
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Dance Studio 3, Molli and Arthur Wagner Dance Building

Contact: Julie Burelle, jburelle@ucsd.edu

Description: Based on first person narratives, videos and historical documents, this touching, funny, and gritty collection of stories depict the reality and repercussions of the American Indian Boarding School system from the later 1800s to the present. Children were often forcibly taken to off reservation schools hundreds of miles across the continent to break tribal ties and authority. The motto of the schools, coined by General Richard H. Pratt, was “Kill the Indian, save the man” which translated into blotting out all language, tradition, culture, and familial ties. The American Indian Boarding School system was devastating to children and their families – the effects of which can still be felt today. (Fringe program.)


Poetic Landscapes:  Indigenous Spoken Word and Storytelling - A Cabaret Night

Co-sponsored by the Department of Ethnic Studies 25th Anniversary Events and Native American Student Association

Date: March 1, 2016
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: The Loft

Contact: Julie Burelle, jburelle@ucsd.edu

Description: Organized by Professors Gloria Chacon (Literature) and Julie Burelle (Theatre and Dance), this evening of poetry, spoken word, and storytelling by Indigenous writers and performers features a variety of emergent and established artists from local communities reading their own work, or selections from other Indigenous writers from other areas of the world.  Participants include: Gordon Johnson (Cahuilla Cupeno), Preston Arrow-Weed (Quechan), The Rincon Youth Storytellers, and others on and off campus.

California Native American Day High School Art & Essay Contest

Entrees accepted from March 1 through April 4, 2016

Award presentation: At the 6th Annual UCSD Powwow, May, 2016

Application materials (available February 2016): http://eaop.ucsd.edu/essays/index.html

Contact: chanintern@ucsd.edu

Description: Essay and Art contest for high school students with a winner for group: 9-10th, 11-12th, Tribally enrolled members, and a grand prize incentive scholarship. Essay topic will be posted in February 2016.


UCSD 6th Annual Powwow

Sponsored by Native American Student Alliance

Date: May 21-22, 2016
Location: Warren Field

Contact: Julie Burelle, nasa@ucsd.edu

Description: We invite the entire campus community to take part in UC San Diego's 6th Annual Powwow on Saturday, May 21, 2016 and Sunday, May 22, 2016 at Warren Field. The Powwow is free and open to the public and is coordinated and led by UC San Diego’s Native American Student Alliance (NASA). It is held to honor the heritage, culture, and traditions of Native Americans. More information on the Powwow.

Essay Contest winners will be announced.


Center for the Investigation of Health and Educational Disparities (CiHED), Council of Coordinators of Student Activities, Council of Provosts, Cross Cultural Center, Department of Ethnic Studies 25th Anniversary Committee, Department of Theatre and Dance, Early Academic Outreach Program, Early Childhood Education Parent’s Advisory Board, Graduate Division, Native American Alumni Chapter, Native American Student Alliance, Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion,  Office of the Vice Chancellor for Resource Management and Planning, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Student Educational Advancement, Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Service (SPACES), and Welcome Week 2015.

Community Sponsors & Partners

American Indian Recruitment (AIR), Indian Health Council, Native American Research Center for Health (CA-NARCH), San Diego American Indian Youth Center, Southern California Tribal Chairmen’s Association (SCTCA) - Tribal TANF and Tribal Print Source, and Southern Indian Health Council

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