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Celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November

Native American Heritage Month
State Indian Museum SHP © 2010, California State Parks. Photo by Brian Baer

November is Native American Heritage Month!

To celebrate, California State Parks and the State Indian Museum are offering a series of special events and activities each weekend in November 2015 that recognize and share the lasting heritage, traditions and contributions of Native Americans.  All special activities happening in November at the State Indian Museum are provided free with regular Museum admission.

California Indian Basket Weaving Demonstrations — Saturday, November 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Native weavers will demonstrate how to use a variety of materials and techniques, and also share stories in a day long showcase of basketry art.  This is a rare opportunity to observe and learn from the masters; special guest weavers include Dixie Rogers, Karuk; Kathy Wallace, Yurok/Karuk; and Ardith Read, Yosemite Tuolumne Miwuk.

Native Literature Showcase – Meet the Authors! — Saturday, November 14, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Some of America’s Native literary greats will be special guests at the Museum to participate in mini-lectures and book signings that are offered every half hour.  The special guest authors include the following: Nicholas Clapp, Old Magic: Lives of the Desert Shamans; Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez, Earth Wisdom: A California Chumash Woman; Clifford Trafzer, A Chemehuevi Song: The Resilience of a Southern Paiute Tribe; Dugan Aguilar, She Sang Me A Good Luck Song: The California Indian Photographs of Dugan Aguilar with Editor Theresa Harlan;  M. Elise Marubbio, Killing the Indian Maiden: Images of Native American Women in Film; Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States; and Justin Farmer, Indian Cradles of California and the Western Great Basin.

Native American Film Festival – Saturday, November 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lights, camera, action!  In honor of Native American Heritage Month, the State Indian Museum is proud to present a very special Native American Film Festival!  Informative, contemporary – and sometimes controversial – Native films will be shown throughout the day.  The films explore topics of importance to Native people throughout American and include these titles: Original Patriots, California’s Lost Tribes, The Cherokee Word for Water, Shouting Secrets and A Good Way to Die.

Indian Arts & Crafts Holiday Fair — Friday & Saturday, November 27 & 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Guests will enjoy shopping for unique, hand-crafted items such as jewelry, basketry, hand-painted gourds, dolls, holiday ornaments and much more.  This is the perfect chance to meet and support talented native artisans from all over California while also learning more about Native American culture.

While all special activities are free, regular Museum admission applies ($5 for adults; $3 for youths ages 6 to 17 and free for kids five and under).  For more information about these events and activities or the State Indian Museum in general, please call 916-324-8112 or visit parks.ca.gov/indianmuseum or cihcfoundation.org.

Photo: Courtesy of State Indian Museum SHP © 2010, California State Parks. By Brian Baer.

About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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