SACRAMENTO – As leaders of Native American tribes from across California gather for the 55th Annual Native American Day celebration at the state Capitol, Governor Gavin Newsom today issued a proclamation declaring September 23, 2022, as Native American Day in the State of California.
The text of the proclamation and a copy can be found below:
On California Native American Day, we honor and celebrate the first peoples and nations of this place who have long stood as an example of the leadership, determination, ingenuity and empathy needed to face the existential challenges of climate change, cultural shifts and meeting the needs of diverse communities.
The painful losses of the past few years have reminded all Californians of what is important and what is at stake. And Native communities in particular have experienced the devastating loss of larger-than-life leaders, culture-bearers, elders and family members whose absences will be felt for generations to come. As we have worked to build resilience in our communities and tackle threats to our state’s future, California Native peoples have reignited the call to action to restore our relationships with the lands, waters, animals and each other through principals of sustainability, respect and reciprocity.
We have a unique opportunity to answer this call to action by first taking a critical and honest look at our past while supporting the leadership of California Native peoples. Our path forward demands that we replace systems and symbols of oppression with a new vision of California that appreciates, as a baseline, the unique cultures and histories of the first people of this place and reflects the diversity and contributions of all peoples who now call California home.
Over the course of the last year, we have strived in partnership with California Native peoples to transform the state and our collective culture in ways that many could only dream of. We have worked with tribal nations to restore ancestral names and cultural practices to many of the places where Native people have lived, survived and thrived in since time immemorial. We have helped empower Native communities to lead culturally-informed systems of care and begin to address the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples. And, we have appointed California Native peoples to the highest levels of state government, including the first-ever California Tribal Affairs Secretary to lead a newly-established Governor’s Office of Tribal Affairs.
The state still has much to do to address long-standing injustices, make space for Native people and collectively create a California that better embodies the values and strengths of all people. We are committed to continuing progress by listening, empowering and learning from the example of the first peoples of this place to create a more inclusive, equitable and just society.
I encourage all Californians to spend time on this Native American Day not only learning about the rich histories, traditions and contributions of the diverse tribal communities throughout the state, but finding ways to answer the call for truth, visibility and justice for California Native peoples.
NOW THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim September 23, 2022, as “Native American Day.”
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 23rd day of September 2022.
GAVIN NEWSOMGovernor of California
ATTEST:SHIRLEY N. WEBER, Ph.D. Secretary of State