Arcata, CA–Humboldt State University hosted its 11th Annual California Big Time & Social Gathering today on campus. This free event is a public celebration of Indigenous culture and art.
Humboldt State University sits on Wiyot land and the Native People’s of this region were one of the last areas to have contact with settlers–a history not that far in the past.
Several Native groups performed dances and songs while dressed in traditional regalia. Outside, there were cultural demonstrations such as a Native American card game tournament. Food was available as well from “indian tacos” to traditional Mexican food from local taco truck, Los Giles.
Inside HSU’s West Gym behind tables along the four walls, student clubs and local Native vendors were either sharing information or selling merchandise and handmade jewelry.
“Founded on the principles of enhancing and sustaining Native languages, cultures, and traditions, HSU’s Big Time has provided our Native communities with a space to honor the ways of life and the values of our ancestors,” HSU writes about the event.
Jacquelyn Ross, who is the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at UC Davis tabled during the event, offering information about UC Davis. She traveled six hours to attend the 32nd annual Indian Conference at HSU April 5-6. Tomorrow, she will host a reception for students in Humboldt County recently admitted to UC Davis.
Ross who is also Native (Pomo/Coast Miwok), relayed that she loves coming to Big Time because of the participation from so many tribes in California. These events are super important, she said, because it shows how California Native cultures are still thriving.
“You also get a chance to expose important community resources to new audiences and you get to welcome potential allies and folks that all this time thought that we were gone.”
“It is also one of the places to see some of the best art in Northern California. I am sitting next to this ceramicist, a Native lady who is doing very high-level pottery. You have a word artist who is putting her message on clothing, which is a more contemporary way of expressing Native thought. There is something for everyone here, it’s a pleasure.”