On 54th Annual Native American Day, Governor Newsom signs legislation to honor California Native peoples, restore ancestral lands and support tribal governments and communities

SACRAMENTO – In a virtual ceremony with leaders of Native American tribes from across California, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed today Native American Day and signed a package of legislation honoring the rich histories and cultures of California Native peoples, facilitating the return of ancestral lands to tribal ownership and supporting tribal government emergency services, among other priorities.

The legislation includes AB 338 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland), which authorizes the placement of a monument in Capitol Park honoring Sacramento-area tribes, replacing the sculpture of missionary Junipero Serra, and AB 855 by Assemblymember Ramos to remove Columbus Day as a judicial holiday and replace it with Native American Day in September.

“Today’s action sends a powerful message from the grounds of Capitol Park across California underscoring the state’s commitment to reckoning with our past and working to advance a California for All built on our values of inclusion and equity,” said Governor Newsom. “I’m proud to sign this long overdue legislation to honor the Native peoples who have called this land home since time immemorial and to further our important work in partnership with Native American communities to tackle the multi-faceted challenges facing California. I thank our legislative and tribal leaders and everyone whose work has enabled us to take these important strides forward as a state.”

“I am proud to have carried these important bills recognizing California’s First People for their unique and diverse heritage and invaluable contributions to our state,” said Assemblymember Ramos, the first California Native American elected to the state Legislature. “Governor Newsom has worked with us side-by-side to address historic wrongs and inequities that continue to affect our communities, and I look forward to our continued partnership.”

The Governor also signed AB 945 by Assemblymember Ramos, which creates a task force of tribal representatives to develop recommendations for protecting the right of Native American students to wear items of spiritual or cultural significance at high school graduations, and AB 873 by Assemblymember Ramos, which removes share of cost requirements for tribes to administer child welfare services through Tribal-State IV-E agreements, increasing equity and supporting tribal efforts to safeguard the health and welfare of Native American children.

A full list of the bills signed by the Governor is below:

  • AB 338 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) – State Capitol grounds.
  • AB 516 by Assemblymember Megan Dahle (R-Bieber) – Pupil attendance: excused absences: cultural ceremonies or events.
  • AB 798 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) – Vehicles: fire department: federally recognized tribes.
  • AB 855 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) – Judicial holidays.
  • AB 873 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) – Child welfare services: Indian tribes.
  • AB 945 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) – Pupils: adornments at school graduation ceremonies: task force.
  • AB 957 by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) – Tribal gaming: compact ratification.
  • AB 1055 by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) – Foster youth: tribal pupils and voluntarily placed children.
  • AB 1283 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) – Foster care.
  • SB 231 by Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) – Department of Transportation: transfer of property: Blues Beach property.
  • SB 302 by Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) – Tribal gaming: compact ratification.
  • SB 712 by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) – Local government: California tribes: federal fee-to-trust applications to regain ancestral lands.
  • SB 816 by the Committee on Governmental Organization –  Master Mutual Aid Agreement: tribes. A signing message can be found here.

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