California Native American Day -New Calendar of Events

A new year, a new calendar of events! For its 10th anniversary, the series has a common theme, “Unsettled Stories: Reclaiming This Land,” which represents well the tensions and the stakes at the heart of UCSD’s relationship (or lack thereof) with the Native American communities of San Diego county. Come join us for some thought-provoking talks, for films or for an evening of Indigenous poetry, storytelling and spoken word.

We already had the kick-off lunch but check out the following events that will happen throughout the academic year


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

Location: Early Childhood Education Center (map)


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,

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,

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

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.

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)

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.

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: Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015. Location: Cross-Cultural Center, Comunidad Room (map)

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.


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

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

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.


UCSD 6th Annual Powwow

Sponsored by Native American Student Alliance