Published November 17, 2019
ROHNERT PARK, Calif. — Since first California Indian Conference in 1985, the California Indian Conference provides a forum for the sharing of knowledge, scholarship, and issues of importance related to Native California Indigenous culture. The conference brings together California Indians, academics, tribal scholars, educators and students, public agencies and institutions, tribal communities and organizations, and the general public.
The Federated Indians of Granton Rancheria helped to sponsor 2019 California Indian Conference. The Federated Indians of the Granton Rancheria are comprised of Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo peoples whom are located in Marin and southern Sonoma counties. In 2003 the Granton Rancheria established an Endowed Chair in Native American Studies at Sonoma State University.
The keynote speaker for the California Indian Conference was the Honorable Greg Sarris, Ph.D-the Chairperson of the The Federated Indians of Granton Rancheria. His keynote address was entitled: ‘Looking Forward : Politics, Religion and Responsibility.’
Since 2005 Chairperson Sarris has held the Granton Rancheria Endowed Chair in Writing and Native American Studies at Sonoma State University.
The conference had numerous panel discussions and guest speakers including members from various California tribes. There were many Native academics, tribal scholars and educators. Many notable California Natives from the San Francisco Bay Area Indian Country attended the California Indian Conference whose theme this year was “The Offering- Creating the Bonds of Community.”
Among the notables who attended were Connie Rietman of the California Tribal Women’s Association and Bev Ortiz, Ph.D., who is an ethnographic consultant and Native California writer/ journalist. Also present was author Malcolm Margolin and founder of Heyday Books in Berkeley. Mr. Margolin is the executive director of the California Institute for Community, Art and Nature (ICAN), along with Gregg Castro, an Ohlone writer and activist. He also serves in the Society of California Archaeology’s Native American Programs committee chair. He acts an adviser to the California Indian Conference and California Indian History Curriculum Coalition.