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UC San Diego Celebrates Past, Present and Future of San Diego’s Native Communities

Campus recognizes California Native American Day throughout academic year

Students at the 2011 UC San Diego California Native American Day kick-off celebration.

“Wellness and Healing; Family and Community” is the theme of the 7th annual California Native American Day Celebration at the University of California, San Diego. The celebration, running from Sept. 28 through May, 2013, will feature events that pay homage to the past, present and future identities of San Diego’s Native American tribes.

California Native American Day is a state-wide holiday recognized on the fourth Friday of September. In recent years, UC San Diego has expanded the one day festivity to a year-long celebration.

This year’s campus activities begin at noon Friday, September 28 with the California Native American Day blessing, keynote address and a workshop on holistic medicine. Other events include a film screening of “In the Light of Reverence,” presentation by a health activist, Native American art show, exhibiting works that date back to the 19th-century, and a Powwow. All events are free and open to the public.

“As UC San Diego’s new Chancellor, I’m honored to participate in this year’s campus celebration of California Native American Day, and I look forward to strengthening the ties between the university and the Native American community,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.

UC San Diego’s third annual Powwow, a tradition spearheaded by UC San Diego’s Native American Student Alliance (NASA), will take place in May, 2013 and it will conclude this year’s California Native American Day celebration.

The celebratory events also include:

This year’s campus activities begin on at noon Friday, September 28 with the California Native American Day blessing, keynote address and a workshop on holistic medicine.

  • Sept. 28, California Native American Day Celebration Kickoff, noon to 2 p.m.––The opening event will feature a keynote address and a workshop on holistic medicine. International Center.
  • Oct. 3, Running Grunion Storytelling, 9 to 11 a.m.––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.
  • Oct. 5, Native Community Welcome Dinner, 6 p.m.––Welcome dinner for alumni and Native American students. Cross Cultural Center.
  • Oct. 18, Native American Film Festival “In Light of Reverence” Screening, noon to 2 p.m.––Produced in 2001, “In Light of Reverence” tells a story about three indigenous, Native American communities and the lands they try to protect. Cross Cultural Center.
  • Nov. 1, Cecelia Firethunder Talk, noon to 4 p.m.––Firethunder, a former nurse, was the first woman to be elected president of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. “Balancing Heart, Mind, Body and Spirit for Family and Community Healing” is the title of her speech. Price Center East Forum.
  • Dec. 15 to March 17, Alternative Accounts: Plains Indian Ledger Art from the 19th-Century to Now––Curated by UC San Diego undergraduate and graduate students, this art show will display historic  and contemporary Native American visual stories drawn in a distinctive Native American style. San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park.
  • March 1 to April 23, California Native American Day High School Art and Essay Contest––Students from grades 9-12 can participate in this essay and art contest. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best essays in four categories.

There will be a prompt available in January 2013 at eaop.ucsd.edu/ that students are invited to respond to with art and a written explanation of the images.

  • May, Powwow––The event will bring together Native American and non-Native American people to dance, sing, socialize and honor American Indian culture. Muir field.

For the full calendar of events for UC San Diego’s California Native American Day, go to: http://blink.ucsd.edu/HR/policies/diversity/NA-celebration.html.