The Arts, Indigenous Peoples' Day and Native Visibility

The recent national study, Reclaiming Native Truth, found that “across the education curriculum, pop culture entertainment, news media, social media and the judicial system, the voices and stories of contemporary Native people are missing.”

The organization IllumiNative was created as a response to the study to establish goals “to combat Native invisibility.” One of those goals is to ensure that “accurate and authentic portrayals of native communities are present in pop culture and media.”

Native artists were instrumental in both phases – from the developing the original study to now shaping the messages and resources that IllumiNative provides.

Locally, visit the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center (CIMCC) in Santa Rosa. The museum portrays “California Indian history and culture from an Indian perspective” and “encourages the present-day renaissance of California Indian culture, affirming its survival and continued vitality in the face of extreme adversity.”

Interwoven into the mission of CIMCC is the exploration of cultural heritage and arts. In a recent program funded by a Creative Sonoma grant, “Healing through Cultural Arts,” the museum provided art kits for a series of virtual classes that explored California Indian foods through art-making. One participant remarked that the class “helped me set aside time to be in space with other Indigenous women, providing a calm and healing space to be creative and social.”

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Local Resources:

Header Photo: California Indian Museum and Cultural Center exhibition gallery