San Marcos,
12:56 PM

CSUSM Welcomes Native American Performance Artists, Sept. 12

Media Advisory by Margaret Chantung

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) welcomes acclaimed Native American artists James Luna and Sheila Tishla Skinner in ISHI: The Archive Performance on Saturday, September 12. The performance will begin at 5:45 p.m. in the Arts Building Room 111, following a 4:30 p.m. reception where audience members may meet Luna and Skinner.

ISHI is a new work written by Luna that explores the story of Ishi, who was claimed to be the last known member of the Yahi, a group of the Yana people in California. Studied by anthropology professors at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1910s, he was mistakenly characterized as the “last wild Indian,” and treated as a curiosity by the public until he died from tuberculosis in 1916. Luna and Skinner’s performance involves archival videos and photos, a scrolling narrative and powerful monologues that give a voice to Ishi today.

“The Archive performance brings forth native perspectives on Ishi's legacy and the era of history he experienced,” said Joely Proudfit, associate professor of American Indian Studies and director of the Center for Indian Culture and Sovereignty (CICSC). “Native perspectives were commonly overshadowed by historians, anthropologists and others who romanticized and sensationalized Ishi's story. Dr. Luna's performance gives a voice to survival, adaptation, cultural integrity and the power of healing with humor.”

Hosted by the CICSC, the Department of American Indian Studies and the Office of the Tribal Liaison, ISHI is free and open to the public, including complimentary parking in Parking Structure 1 on the sixth floor. Please RSVP to or call 760-750-3535.

What: ISHI: The Archive Performance, written and performed by acclaimed Native American artists James Luna and Sheila Tishla Skinner.

When: Saturday, September 12 – 4:30 p.m. reception, 5:45 p.m. performance

Where: CSUSM, Arts Building, Room 111

Tickets: Free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please RSVP to or call 760-750-3535 to reserve your ticket.

Directions and Parking: CSUSM is located at 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos. Complimentary parking is available in the Parking Structure on the sixth floor only. Follow directional signs or visit the CSUSM website for a map and directions: