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Honoring National Native American Heritage Month

In the summer of 1990, President George H. Bush declared the month of November as National Native American Heritage Month. This month is intended to celebrate the history, culture and traditions of America’s Indigenous peoples. Through a collaborative project of the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, and other national cultural institutions, a website devoted to the National American Heritage Month was created to serve as recognition, commemoration and education purposes.

We thought it was fitting to honor this month by showcasing some of our most recent and active projects as well as some ongoing projects focusing on California’s Native communities and we hope you can join us at some of the events that are coming up:

Visualizing Language: Oaxaca in LA – This mural by the Oaxacan artist collective Tlacolulokos explores language and culture as a key lifeline sustaining the shared experience between Mexico, Los Angeles, and beyond at the Los Angeles Public Library through the end of the year. 

Sacred Art in the Age of Contact – This exhibition brings together, for the first time, a diverse body of objects from the first decades following the Chumash’s first contact with the Spanish, c. 1769-1824. This exhibit will be at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art through the end of the year. 

Supak’a: A Chumash Gathering – A celebration of Chumash culture. Participate in an event that showcases the diversity of the Chumash tribe, the revitalization efforts of Chumash communities, and the rich traditions of the Indigenous Peoples of this region. This all day event takes place at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum on November 11, 2017

Island of the Blue Dolphins: the Lone Woman at the CrossroadsIsland of the Blue Dolphins, a beloved children’s classic that is a mainstay of California’s 4th Grade History curriculum, will be the focus of a public program at Castelar Elementary School in Los Angeles on November 1.  Findings from recent archaeological, ethnographic and historical research will cast new light on the story of the book’s heroine, the “Lone Woman”, a California Native girl who lived alone on one of the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California in the early 19th century. 

Tribal Justice: A film by Makepeace Productions – Two Native American judges reach back to traditional concepts of justice in order to reduce incarceration rates, foster greater safety for their communities, and create a more positive future for their youth. By addressing the root causes of crime, they are providing models of restorative justice that are working. Mainstream courts across the country are taking notice. Screenings will take place at the U.S. Attorney’s Office of San Diego on November 14 at 12:30pm, please call 619.546.9713 for more information and at the Beyond the Bench Conference in San Diego on December 19. Visit PBS’ POV website to view lesson plans in Civics and Social Studies for grades 9-12 associated with this documentary film.

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