News & Information

Sac State hosts annual California Indian Conference


Exhibits highlight Native American history, traditions

Facebook photo album

Indian Painting
Artwork by Lyn Risling (Karuk, Yurok and Hupa) “Mother and Child”

The 28th annual California Indian Conference and Gathering was held Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 3-5, at Sacramento State’s University Union. All events but three exhibits and one off-site event took place at the Union.

The conference featured an exchange of views and information among academics, educators, California Indians, students, tribal nations, native organizations and community members focusing on California Indians.  Topics included sovereignty, leadership, dance, storytelling, native languages, histories, law, political and social issues, federal recognition, families and children, education, economic development, arts and traditions.

Participants included Cynthia Gomez, Chairman Marshall McKay and Professor William Bauer.

Gomez is Gov. Jerry Brown’s Tribal advisor and Native American Heritage Commission executive secretary. She advises Brown and Cabinet colleagues on issues related Tribal governments and the implementation of effective government-to-government consultation between the Governor’s administration and California Tribes on policies that affect California Tribal communities.

McKay leads the elected Tribal Council of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. He began his career in Tribal government in 1984 and in January 2012 was re-elected to his third term as chairman.  A cornerstone of his leadership is his commitment to cultural renewal and preservation, a focus he extends into education programs and sustainable land-use practices.

Bauer is an enrolled citizen of the Round Valley Indian Tribes and an associate professor of American Indian history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  His research examines American Indian history, with a geographic emphasis on California.  Bauer’s bachelor’s degree is from the University of Notre Dame with graduate history degrees from the University of Oklahoma.

The conference enables Indians and non-Indians alike to be aware of current issues, as well as the histories and cultures of California Native Americans. Its success depends on the combined efforts of many individuals, organizations and tribal nations.

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Alan Miller