09:47 AM

CSUSM Hosting California Indian Conference, Oct. 5 & 6

Language preservation, cultural identity and the state of California Indian education will highlight the 27th Annual California Indian Conference on Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6 at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM). Registration is required.The conference theme is “California Indians Leading the Way” in recognition of the leadership, strength and progress of California Indians in education, research and community engagement. This year’s conference will focus on demonstrated leadership, best practices and programs, and solutions to problems. Cynthia Gomez, the Governor’s tribal advisor and executive secretary for the Native American Heritage Commission, will kick off the conference with a State of the State of California Indians speech. Event sponsors include: CSUSM’s California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC), CSUSM’s Division of Community Engagement, the Yocha Dehe Wintum Nation, the Pechanga Development Corporation, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians, the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, Palomar College’s American Indian Studies Department, the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association, the Barona Band of Mission Indians, Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria,  the Jesse Flyingcloud Pope Foundation on behalf of Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians, the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, the Pala Band of Mission Indians, the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians, the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians and the Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.Event Director Joely Proudfit, CSUSM professor of Native Studies and director of the CICSC, said that this year’s conference will draw approximately 300 scholars and Native American artists, elders and community members from across California. Of particular note, she said, is the Oct. 5 session on the State of California Indian Education at which she will present, with Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction and James Ramos, State Board of Education member, a first-of-its-kind report documenting educational attainment and graduation rates for California American Indian students from kindergarten through college.“American Indian education is in a crisis - we have the worst graduation rates compared to every other ethnic minority,” she stated. “This report examines current conditions and trends in California with regard to how Native students are achieving and attaining K-12 and higher education. My hope is that this document will help inform educational leaders and legislators so that we can create better policies and programs to do something about this.”For more information visit www.csusm.edu/air/californiaindianconference/index.html or contact the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at 760-750-3535.Who: Approximately 300 scholars and Native American artists, elders and community members from across California. CSUSM President Haynes, the Governor’s Tribal Advisor and Executive Secretary for the Native American Heritage Commission Cynthia Gomez; California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, and California State Board of Education Member James Ramos will be among the presenters and speakers.What: The 27th Annual California Indian Conference: California Indians Leading the Way.When: Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6. See conference agenda for specifics on sessions and speakers.Where: California State University San Marcos, 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., San MarcosWhy: To focus on demonstrated California Indian leadership, best practices and programs, and solutions to problems.About California State University San MarcosCalifornia State University San Marcos combines the ambiance of a mid-sized, personal, modern campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Since its founding in 1989, the campus has distinguished itself. Students benefit from the latest facilities and equipment, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life in and out of the workplace. A recent survey reported that our annual spending in the region was $161 million, generating a total impact of $307 million on the regional economy. Eighty-five percent of CSUSM’s alumni stay in the region. CSU San Marcos is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos. It is fifteen miles east of the ocean; just thirty miles north of downtown San Diego.