In honor of the annual Native American Heritage Month celebration that happens every November, the State Indian Museum is offering a series of special events and activities each weekend that celebrate and share the lasting heritage, traditions and contributions of Native Americans with the local community.
The State Indian Museum will offer notable Basket Weaving Demonstrations, a compelling Native Literature Showcase, hands-on Continuing Culture Skills Workshops and an always-popular Indian Arts and Crafts Holiday Fair.
All Native American Heritage Month activities happening in November at the State Indian Museum are provided free with regular museum admission.
The California Indian Basket Weaving Demonstrations on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. include native weavers demonstrating how to use a variety of materials and techniques and sharing stories in a day-long showcase of basketry art. This is a rare opportunity to observe and learn from the masters; special guest weavers include: Dixie Rogers, Karuk; Diana Almandariz, Ardith Read and Susan Billie, Hopland Band of Pomo Indians; and Kathy Wallace, Yurok/Karuk member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe.
On Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. the Native Literature Showcase — Meet the Authors features some of America’s Native literary greats at the museum to participate in mini-lectures and book signings that are offered every half hour. The special guest authors include: John O’Hagan, “Lands Never Trodden: The Franciscans and the California Mission;” Clifford Trafzer, “The Indian School on Magnolia Avenue: Voices and Images from Sherman Institute;” Michelle Raheja, “Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Native Americans in Film;” Tony Platt, “Grave Matters: Excavating California’s Buried Past;” Deborah Valoma and Julia Parker, “Scrape the Willow Until It Sings: The Words and Work of Basket Maker Julia Parker;” M. Kat Anderson, “Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources;” and the emcee is Malcolm Margolin, founder and publisher of Heyday in Berkeley.
Continuing Culture Skills Workshops on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. present a full day of adult-level Native American traditional skills learning along with fun activities for children. Led by skilled artisans, adult workshops include: soapstone carving, clapstick making, tule doll making, Indian beadworking, native hand game instruction and more. Pre-registration is required for the workshops.
On Saturday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the Native American Film Festival features informative, contemporary and sometimes controversial Native films throughout the day. The films explore topics of importance to Native people throughout America and include film titles such as “Grandmother’s Prayer,” “Two Spirits,” “Original Patriots,” “Six Generations,” “Dakota 38″ and “Smokin’ Fish.”
The Indian Arts and Crafts Holiday Fair on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 29 and 30 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. gives guests the opportunity to shop for unique, hand-crafted items such as jewelry, basketry, pottery, hand-painted gourds, dolls, holiday ornaments and much more. This is the perfect chance to meet and support talented native artisans from all over California while also learning more about Native American culture.
While all special activities are free, regular museum admission applies — $3 for adults, $2 for youths ages 6 to 17 and free for kids 5 and under.
The State Indian Museum is located at 2618 K St. in Sacramento.