Elementary School Students to Explore Native American Culture at CSUN’s First California Indian Day

CID-Flyer4webNearly 200 elementary school students will descend on the California State University, Northridge campus on Friday, Sept. 26, to learn about the cultures of the native people in and around the San Fernando Valley.

The university has joined efforts with the Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians to host the inaugural “California Indian Day: The Tataviam and Their Neighbors” from 10 a.m. to noon at the university. Families from the American Indian community also have been invited to participate in the same activities on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The activities will take place under canopies in the South Quad in the center of the CSUN campus, located at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge. Activities will include storytelling, music, basket weaving, language arts and a demonstration of a traditional native game similar to field hockey.

“California Indian Day is intended to expand awareness of the rich history and cultures of the native people of our region,” said Scott Andrews, director of the American Indian Studies Program at CSUN. “I believe students do not receive enough information about the history of American Indians in California, nor do they learn enough about the many ways native people contribute to our region today. The last census indicated about 200,000 American Indians live in Los Angeles County, which makes it the largest urban center for native people in the country.”

By allowing the local American Indian community to experience the same workshops and activities in a close-knit setting, Andrews said the Tataviam hope to deepen the cultural roots of local indigenous people.

California Indian Day is just the latest partnership between the Tataviam and CSUN. One earlier partnership resulted in a $1 million Department of Education grant that supports college-prep programming for native middle school and high school students.

For more information, contact the Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians at 818-336-6105 or Andrews at 818-677-3418.