SBC Museum celebrates National Native American Heritage Month

By on October 28, 2017

Join in the fun at the upcoming festival celebration at the San Bernardino County Museum on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in honor of National Native American Heritage Month. A variety of activities have been planned for the day.

Featured presenter Serrano cultural educator Paakuma’ Tawinat will offer fascinating insight into Serrano history and culture. Members of the Chia Café Collective, Craig Torres and Barbara Drake, both of the Tongva cultural tradition, will explore the use of plants by Native Americans in the museum’s native plant and ethnobotany gardens. Curator of Anthropology Tamara Serrao-Leiva will share artifacts that have rarely been exhibited at the museum, including a Luiseño pipe and a collection of Navajo jewelry.

Additionally, an assortment of hands-on “make” activities will be offered, including making coiled clay pottery. Visitors can also participate in a specially designed scavenger hunt throughout the museum’s various galleries.

First introduced in the United States in the early 20th century, Native American Heritage Month found advocates in several influential people including President Calvin Coolidge as well as Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian and the first director of the Rochester, N.Y. Museum of Arts and Science. President George H.W. Bush signed legislation designating November 1990 National American Indian Heritage Month in August of that year.

“We are so excited to showcase and honor the Native Americans that live in and around our county,” said Serrao-Leiva. “Groups like the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians have been instrumental in providing the museum accurate historical accounts for our exhibits, so to have these distinguished individuals here giving an authentic voice to the gardens and galleries is particularly meaningful. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to meet and engage with those who have first-hand experiences with some of the objects in our galleries.”

Activities during the Native American Heritage Festival are included with museum admission – $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student) and $5 (child aged 5 to 12); children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. Parking is free. The SBC Museum is located at 2024 Orange Tree Lane off the California Street exit from Interstate 10, in Redlands.