california tribal college (CTC) completed its inaugural education program this past summer. The weeklong course—which took place at the offices of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation in Brooks—focused on tribal leadership and governance. Forty-seven students from twenty-two tribes across the state earned certification by successfully completing the course.
Over six months I created portraits for the various tribes living in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The project was meant to stimulate tribal pride and discover a new sense of self in the people. These people had stories of tragedy and hurt, but showed a true sense of strength under adversity and hardship.
Tongva artist Katie Dorame paints with a fascinating mix of traditional knowledge and cinematic flair, which makes sense coming from a family with deep cultural ties to their Tongva homeland—her father is culture bearer Robert Dorame —and a sense of artistic license—her sister is photographic installation artist Mercedes Dorame. But the wit that shines through her work is pure Katie.
California Indian identities are directly connected to place. We are an immovable people where our identities, stories, religions, origins, languages, and genetic makeups are connected to places that we inherently know. This knowledge tells us our families have been embedded in this land since time immemorial.
In September the Bay Area Open Space Council premiered Here and Now, a short film that tells the story of four innovative partnerships between Native Americans and land conservation organizations. The documentary takes audiences to mountain tops, valleys, and the coast to hear from local tribes, a working farm, a local land trust, an open space district, and a national land trust.
Dorothy Ramon Learning Center: Walter Holmes Jr. Receives Dragonfly Award; An Invitation to Poetry Festival: Native Voices at the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center; Mehuun Terrux
Before I enter the doors, walking up to the annual California Indian Conference and Gathering (CIC), I hear the clinking of abalone and pine nut jewelry. I hear the familiar rhythm of clappers or gourd rattles, depending on whether the conference is being held in Northern or Southern California.
Marinated yucca blossoms and mesquite, chia, and pine nut cookies
A Cross of 29 Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Mission Indians