Digital files available at www.joomag.com.
￼"Look around you. We're the only two people left in this classroom. I'm the only person who's trying to tell the indigenous side of history. I'm the only person in this classroom who cares and it's because I'm indigenous."
Poem by Annelia Hillman
I was lost in a foreign country where I did not speak the language. I walked into a room where I was asked to sit with about fifteen people surrounding me. They all had questions to ask, but only one of them was able to speak English and interpret what was being said in the local language:
Imagine my delight when my editor approached me recently to ask if I would be interested in covering the Nisenan Heritage Day 2015 event, held in early November in Nevada City. Getting a chance to spend some quality time being exposed to Nisenan culture with tribal members was an exciting opportunity, so up the hill I went to spend the weekend in Nisenan territory.
Having been a passenger on the long drive up from the desert to the Morongo Indian Reservation growing up, I remember many times being woken by the bumping sound of driving over cattle guards. It seems that just as strongly as Morongo is known for being the homeland of Serrano and Pass Cahuilla people, it is also known for the cattle and horses that live across the reservation.
I have never really thought about my college experience until now. Reflecting on it, I find it hard to narrow down the past three years of my life at the university into a representation that accurately expresses the growth, changes, and awakening I’ve gone through as a young indigenous man in college.
When I return from Limuw—Santa Cruz Island—at first I only want natural light. It is past ten when I rinse the salt water from my hair. Moonlight falls from the open window, a flood of light from above. I am still under the influence of sea tides springing strong.
The advocates are proud to have been able to produce the 12th Biennial Language is Life Gathering. More than three hundred California Indians representing thirty tribes assembled at the Wonder Valley Ranch in Sanger: Mono, Cahuilla, Choinumni, Barbareño Chumash, Coast Miwok, Inenseño Chumash, Elem Pomo, Karuk, Kashaya Pomo, Kawaiisu, Konkow Maidu, Kumeyaay, Luiseño, Mojave, Mountain Maidu, Mutsun Ohlone, Obispeño Chumash, Quechan, Redwood Valley Pomo, Sierra Miwok, Tachi, Kitanemuk, Tolowa, Waksachi, Wappo, Washoe, Western Mono, Wintun, Wukchumni, Yowlumni, and Yuki.
Karuk artist Eric Ruiz utilizes pen and ink to tell of a forgotten past.
Art by Linda Yamane
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, reviewed by Ishmael Elias.
A Chemehuevi Song: The Resilience of a Southern Paiute Tribe by Clifford E. Trafzer, reviewed by Ruth Nolan.