By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– More than 1,500 elementary school children and their teachers from throughout the Inland Empire are expected to visit Cal State San Bernardino to learn firsthand about California’s Native American culture, history and customs as part of the week-long California Indian Cultural Awareness Conference to be held Sept. 23-27.
The five-day conference, which will be led by tribal educators from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and across California, will be from 9:45 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. in the university’s Santos Manuel Student Union. Students will learn firsthand from tribal members and elders about Native American traditions including basketry, plants, music, language and history including Native American accounts of the mission period of the state’s history.
The conference culminates in the 20th Annual California Native American Day celebration on Friday, Sept. 27, from 6-9 p.m., in the patio area of the university’s Meeting Center (formerly known as the Commons).
This is a celebration to honor California’s indigenous people, an opportunity to learn about Native American culture and a time for people of all cultures to reflect on and remember their own heritage while experiencing the music, dance and stories of California’s native nations.
The celebration will feature traditional Northern California brush dancers, Southern California bird singers and dancers, a participatory Native American theater company performance for all ages, food and demonstrations of traditional life ways and knowledge.
The event is free and open to the public. Free parking will be available in Lot D.