(Rohnert Park) — Sonoma State University will host the 33rd annual California Indian Conference this week, a forum for sharing knowledge and issues of importance related to Native Americans indigenous to California.
Scheduled to take place from Thursday, Nov. 14 to Saturday, Nov. 16 in the Student Center ballrooms, the conference, titled “The Offering: Creating the Bonds of Community,” will include panel discussions and an array of speakers including members of California Indian tribes, academics, tribal scholars and educators. Graton Rancheria Tribal Chairman and endowed chair in Native American Studies Greg Sarris will deliver the event’s Keynote Address on Friday at 9 a.m.
“We are honored to be hosting this all-important conference here on our campus,” said President Judy K. Sakaki. Sakaki noted that the university rests on the native lands of the Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok people, who are now recognized as the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheri. “We honor their rich and complex oral tradition, their practice of intricate cultural traditions like basketry and their innovative use of the natural world for food and resources,” she said.
The first California Indian Conference was held in 1985 and became the first and only annual conference focused on the indigenous people of California past and present. The conference has since been held in various locations across the state, alternating between northerly and southerly venues at academic institutions. Sonoma State last hosted the event in 1991.
The 33rd annual conference will begin with a reception and art exhibit on Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. at the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center. The event will sample traditional foods, highlighting the unique flavors of California Indian Country. “The Offering: Creating Bonds of Beauty,” an exhibit of contemporary California Indian arts, will be showcased as well.
The conference is free and open to the public. For more information on the conference, visit https://www.csuchico.edu/cic. For a full schedule of events, see the California Indian Conference program.
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