California Native American Day
Understanding. Appreciation. Celebration.
California Native American Day is a time to celebrate and learn more about the distinctive cultures of the Native American people who are indigenous to California. It is a holiday celebrating Native American Heritage and the triumphs and struggles of Indigenous People.
The goal of California Native American Day is to promote awareness and appreciation California’s Native Americans. To help educate surrounding communities about the history and culture of Indigenous People, several programs and conferences are held each year.
This year, we’re also celebrating the passage of AB 855. California’s Legislature recently approved this historic measure designating the fourth Friday of September an official judicial holiday in recognition of California Native American Day.
California Native American Day Events
Join us for a full week of cultural appreciation and learning.
California Native American Day Celebration
Preserving our heritage is important, and why we look forward to gathering annually to celebrate California Native American Day at Cal State San Bernardino. This year although we will not be able to gather with one another, we encourage all Californians to celebrate the day by learning more about the Native peoples of your region.
We are hopeful that 2022 will provide an opportunity for us to resume a free public event featuring traditional Native American songs, music, art, and food.
Correcting the Myths
Perhaps more important than the celebration itself is the educational aspect of this holiday. When California first designated California Native American Day in 1998, it was specifically crafted to clarify the many misperceptions about California Indians.
In the schoolroom, our children have been led to believe that California history began with the arrival of the first explorers and that all American Indians lived in tepees and used drums for music.
Today, public schools and community colleges pursue educational exercises, model lesson plans, and curricula relating specifically to the rich and varied history of the many tribal groups of California.