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CSUSB Alum Assm. Ramos welcomes students and the community to celebrate Native American Heritage Month

CSUSB Native American Heritage Month
Attendees at CSUSB's virtual National Native American History Month assembly, hold up the school's Coyote hand sign. November 3, 2021.

National Native American Heritage Month celebrations returned virtually once again to Cal State San Bernardino’s campus November 3. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports, a well-known alumnus made an appearance to help start a month of meaningful activities.

The celebrations at Cal State San Bernardino are a time to honor the unique traditions of each Native American tribe and to, "learn about who our tribes are and who our people are in our own backyard,” said CSUSB alumnus and California State Assemblymember James Ramos.

Southern California is home to some 31 tribes, including the Serrano and Cahuilla peoples. Ramos is a member of these tribes and is the first California Indian to be ever elected to the state assembly. The coming weeks of activities like a film screening, virtual mixers, a book club and healing circle are especially meaningful, "because it’s an opportunity to learn about the factual sites and sounds of the people that have called America home for many years, for time immemorial, and specifically to our area the Serrano and Cahuilla. We want to make sure that continues and that culture, that rich culture continues to resonate,” said Ramos.

It’s also an opportunity for Native American students to gather in a safe place and heal from the challenges of the last year said Robert Nava, CSUSB vice president of advancement. "It’s more than a celebration. It’s also a reaffirmation of our commitment to social justice to equity and to the many issues we need to address,” said Nava.

The pandemic has made clear inequalities communities of color and Native communities face locally and nationally said Nava, so the month is an opportunity for the academic community to show their support.