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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 21, 2002 - Issue 70


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Conference Offers Taste of Indian Life

by Katie Orloff The Press Enterprise
credits: by Suzanne Westerly Journalist/Photographer
Bird Singers by Suzanne Westerly Journalist/PhotographerSAN BERNARDINO - Inland area schoolchildren will have an opportunity to learn about the lives, history and culture of California Indians during the fourth annual California Indian Cultural Awareness Conference at Cal State San Bernardino.

One-day field trips are being organized from Sept. 24 to 27 by the San Manuel Tribal Unity and Cultural Awareness Program.

A program for the public will feature Southern California bird singers and northern California brush dancers at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Student Event Center.

The program attracted 3,000 last year.

Students learn from tribal members and historians about the history and culture of California's native American tribes.

Organizers plan to combat common misconceptions, such as all Indians lived in tepees and beat on drums, by showing students musical instruments made of gourds and dome-shaped dwellings made of willow branches.

"They're going to have a better sense of the California Indian people from this area," said Project Director James Ramos. "The uniqueness of California is separate from what's been implanted in our minds."

Elementary pupils will learn about song, dance, basketry and pottery, listen to Indian story-telling and taste American Indian foods. Their programs start at 9:30 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. Middle and high school students will participate in panel discussions on California Indian history, culture and tribal government. They will hear lectures on the mission system, the acquisition of California from Mexico and consequences to native people. Their programs start at 9 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.

Students should bring a sack lunch and schools need to provide chaperones.

San Bernadino, CA  Map
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