CSUSM Celebrates California Indian Days

The campus will celebrate California Indian Days Sept. 23-25 with a series of events ranging from a Pow Wow Comedy Jam to a basket weaving demonstration. All events are free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

Pow Wow Comedy Jam
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008
11:50 AM – 12:50 PM, Library Plaza

From the four directions come four of the best and brightest Native American comedians, delivering a trail of laughs across the land.  Since coming together as a group in 2005, Pow-Wow Comedy Jam has unleashed a buzz in Indian Country as well as in the mainstream comedy scene.

Dancing Cloud Drum Performance
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008
5:30 PM, Library Plaza

Come hear local drummers plan American Indian drums.  Drum music gives patience and understanding about the mystery and power of all things.  The rhythmic sound of Native American drums is a calming force in a busy world.

Mike Wilken and Teodora Cuero
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2008
5:30-7:30 PM, Arts 111

Doña Teodora Cuero, is the matriarch, the traditional leader of the Kumiai Indian community where she was born 87 years ago.  Because of her extensive knowledge of medicinal uses of native plants and traditional spirituality she has become known as a healer.  Michael Wilken is an applied anthropologist who has worked with Native Baja Californians since 1980.

Basket weavers
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008
11:50 – 12:50 PM, Tukwut Courtyard

Rose Ramirez and Lydia Vassar are two important basket weavers in the region.  Both are members of the California Indian Basket weavers Association.  Lydia teaches basketry at the Chámmakilawish Pechanga School.  Rose is on the Board of the San Diego Museum of Man.  Their lecture/demo will discuss the history of colonization of California and how indigenous people are working to revitalize their practices.

For more information, contact Tishmall Turner, tribal liaison at ext. 3310

California State University San Marcos has enjoyed a sustained relationship with the many local American Indian tribes in the region.  The relationships were established through the interest and commitment of a few and have evolved into some formal relationships that involve scores of individuals across all divisions and colleges at the University.

An acknowledgment of the California Indians came in 1968 when Governor Ronald Reagan signed a resolution calling for the fourth Friday of each September to be American Indian Day. It was hoped that this acknowledgment would help to inform the general public about Indian heritage and the problems that are confronted by Indians in California.

For years, the California tribes celebrated the fourth Friday of September by renewing their ties to the Earth and keeping alive the ways of their ancestors. It was in 1998 when the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill No. 1953 (Baca), establishing the day as an official state holiday. Today, people of all ages celebrate California Native American Day by learning more about the culture, heritage and traditions of the California Indian.

For more information, contact Tishmall Turner, tribal liaison at 760.750.3310.