Welcome to the “California American Indian Culture and Art as Pedagogy: A Teaching and Learning Exhibit“. This virtual exhibition is presented by hosts of the upcoming California Indian Conference titled, “Planting the Seeds: Education, Sovereignty, Wellness and Future Building”. Represented here are California American Indian cultural practitioners and artists from the diverse social and ecological landscapes that make up California’s American Indian peoples, communities, tribes and homelands.
California’s land and water systems are the homelands to over 109 federally recognized tribes and many others that hold cultural-intellectual knowledge and California’s history, despite large scale efforts to deracinate California of its indigenous peoples. The Central Valley homelands are stewarded by over twenty American Indian tribes. Their systems of knowledge offer many opportunities for rich engagement, storytelling, story making, and knowledge exchange on practices that sustain life systems, educate peoples, bring wellness to generations, heal, and sustain tribal sovereignty, self-determination, lands, and waters. The knowledge held within California tribal traditions and cultural practices are important for the future of California American Indian peoples, residents throughout the state, and the nation. The California Indian Conference organizers seek to create an intergenerational gathering of community leaders, cultural practitioners, scholars, students, artists, media makers, youth leaders, and elders whose contributions enable us all to strategize for better futures. We begin here with the stories, teachings, and gifts of these culture bearers.