SACRAMENTO – As leaders of Native American tribes from across California gather to celebrate the 56th California Native American Day at the state Capitol, Governor Gavin Newsom today issued a proclamation declaring September 22, 2023, as Native American Day in the State of California.
The text of the proclamation and a copy can be found below:
Today marks the state’s 56th celebration of California Native American Day—an annual celebration of culture, community and resilience. In the same 56 years that this event has taken place, Native people across the country have put into practice the self-determination era in tribal policy, an era that relies on the full expression of Native processes and governance structures to deliver more thoughtful, culturally-driven outcomes for Native people.
The theme of this year’s California Native American Day, “Protecting our People through Sovereignty: Past, Present, and Future,” doubles down on the promise of the self-determination era—that by strengthening tribal nations, California Native people can better survive a world that has been hostile to and, in too many ways, continues to endanger Native lifeways, worldviews and value systems. And, when California Native people are able to equitably and safely contribute to their communities, cultures and governments, California as a whole is stronger as a result.
California tribal nations have demonstrated the wisdom and leadership necessary to protect all Californians—not just California Native peoples—from the existential threats of a changing climate and divisive forces in society. Over the last year, California tribal nations have led the state in historic efforts to improve forest health, strengthen wildfire resilience and restore ecosystems; deploy sustainable infrastructure; defend hard-fought protections for children and families; launch culturally-informed wellness centers; and bolster justice systems. Undergirding each of these efforts is our shared belief that if we are to address the most pressing issues of our time, we must do so together and in the best interests of all.
It is the highest and noblest charge of governments to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and the State of California stands as a strong partner to support tribal governments’ efforts to protect vulnerable California Native peoples—our history not only compels us, our collective conscience demands that we do so.
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 also finding ways to support California tribal nations and cultivate meaningful relationships with California Native peoples.
NOW THEREFORE I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim September 22, 2023, 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 21st day of September 2023.
Governor of California
SHIRLEY N. WEBER, Ph.D.
Secretary of State