On this episode we are joined by Jenn Duggan and Nicole Gager from CSU, Chico’s College of Business Student Advising & Services.
The History of the First-Native American Resilience
chico state, students, native, people, tribes, campus, recognized, lo, important, native american, land, california, relations, community, federally, tribal, office, native communities, happening, data
He-Lo Ramirez, joshuah whittinghill, Teresa Hernandez, Introduction Music, Vanessa Esquivido, Amber Noel-Camacho
He-Lo Ramirez 00:00
Heytanayem nikki yam sa He-Lo nikki Mechoopda Maidu. Hello everyone. My name is He-Lo and I’m a Mechoopda Maidu. We acknowledge and are mindful that Chico State stands on lands that were originally occupied by the first people in this area, the Mechoopda. And we recognize their distinctive spiritual relationship with this land and the waters that run through campus. We are humbled that our campus resides upon sacred lands that have sustained the Mechoopda people for centuries, and continue to do so today.
Introduction Music 00:27
joshuah whittinghill 01:07
Hey, Teresa we are recording.
Teresa Hernandez 01:10
Hi, everyone. Welcome back to our podcast, first generation one of many. So today, we’re really excited for our guests and to talk about the topic that we’re going to discuss super important, and glad to be bringing some awareness to it. Um joining me is my co-host, Josh. Hi, Josh.
joshuah whittinghill 01:29
Hi, Teresa. It seems like it’s been too long. We had a we had a void with the, with the week off of school, and then we had to reschedule the previous podcast. So it’s almost like we haven’t done this.
Teresa Hernandez 01:40
Yes, exactly. Like it’s been a long time. So many things came in. But I’m glad we’re here. And we’re pushing to get to get through it, given the circumstances of just the world in general. But again, to our listeners, thank you for joining us. Again, we are first generation one of many. Our mission is to create an archive of discussions with end about first generation student experiences in and out of the classroom. We hope to continue raising awareness and understanding provide voice for students and alum as well as present resources for faculty, staff, and students working for and collaborating with first generation students.
joshuah whittinghill 02:16
Yes, and today our quote or we have two quotes today, actually, thankfully to one of our guests, and then we’ll introduce him in a little while. But the first quote is from Chief Seattle. And it is humankind has not woven the web of life. We are about one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves. All things are bound together all things connect. Again, that’s from Chief Seattle. And this episode, we’re going to be talking with our guests about the intersection intersection of being first generation and native. So to help us accomplish this, our three guests today. First is Amber Noel-Camacho. Welcome, Amber. Hello.
Amber Noel-Camacho 03:01
Hello. Thank you for having me.
joshuah whittinghill 03:03
No, were are so glad you made it. And Amber works at the tribal relations as a as the Tribal Relations Specialist at Chico State in the Tribal Relations Office. She’s originally from this area and grew up in a small town. Her family are Maidu who live near Oroville. She’s happily married to her husband and they have three energetic boys. And in her free time she loves to create or make traditional necklaces and earrings. And it’s great. We’ve already seen I think two of those energetic boys running around behind you back there today. But great.
Teresa Hernandez 03:35
Awesome. One of our next guest on the episode today. So his name is He-Lo Ramirez. He is a member of the Mechoopda Indian tribe from Chico, California and a traditional cultural practitioner. He graduated Butte College in 2016 with three associate degrees; biology, sociology and social and behavioral science. After that he graduated Chico State in 2019 with the bachelors of science in Biological Sciences, an option in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, and then completed the teaching credential program for California Teaching Credential in Biology. Currently, He-Lo is Chico State masters student and the new masters Wildland Management offered under Interdisciplinary Studies.
joshuah whittinghill 04:17
All right, welcome He-Lo.
He-Lo Ramirez 04:19
Hita ni am.
joshuah whittinghill 04:21
Yes, and, and as you hear He-Lo talk more to the episode. You may recognize his voice. He was gracious enough a month or two back to record our land acknowledgement that we have at the beginning of every episode. So thanks for that. And he provided us our two quotes today that we’re using. All right in our our third guest Vanessa Esquivido is in it Hi. Hi, Vanessa. Again. Hello.
Vanessa Esquivido 04:48
Hey, what up y’all
joshuah whittinghill 04:51
Great to have you here.
Vanessa Esquivido 04:53
Yeah, excited about it. My first podcast.
joshuah whittinghill 04:57
Oh, wow. Great. Yeah, we’ve been talking about podcasts for a while about a year or so now since you’ve been on campus and trying to incorporate them into the classroom for students to use and even create. So that’s been fun, so great to have you then and be part of your first experience on one. Vanessa is an enrolled member of the Nor Rel Muk Wintu Nation. She’s also Hupa and Xicana. And she earned her Ph.D. in Native American Studies from the University of California Davis, aka UC Davis. She focuses on non federally recognized California Indian Tribes and their struggle to obtain Federal Recognition by the United States government. She also works closely with Native communities to conduct oral interviews and record Native experiences on a variety of topics. All right, again, welcome to everybody. And let’s jump right into some data. Some numbers, right. We’re we’re on a campus where academics, so let’s look at this. And we’re talking about working the work you all do with different Native groups. So let’s kind of see what that really maybe looks like bigger picture sort of. So according to the US Census, of 2010. Of course, we don’t have any information yet on the latest one. But there’s an estimated 4.4 million Native Americans, including those of more than one race, which make up about 1.5% of the total American population. There are about 150 Native American languages in the United States and Canada. And roughly 350 to 400,000 people speak a Native language at home. About one third of Native Americans live on reservations, the rest live in cities and towns across the United States. There are more than 550 federally recognized tribes in the United States, including 223 villages groups in Alaska. So we hear those numbers. But we also hear from Vanessa’s bio, she’s working with a number of groups trying to gain federal recognition. And another one of our faculty members back in January at Chico State presented on the issue of how many groups and tribes aren’t even represented when it comes to answering the questions about applying to college or census information. So, what do y’all think? I mean, we all think about that, because you’re the experts on this.
Vanessa Esquivido 07:25
So I think the first thing when I think about the census, is that data is often skewed, right? These are self identifying peoples that are filling these out, or they self identify as American and, you know, it’s really complicated and complex. And so I do want to make room for that saying that, um, you know, there’s a lot of tribes who are not fairly recognized, especially in California, so many times in California, unfortunately, people don’t know how many tribes are in California, for example, I think, Amber and I was on another presentation, and we asked the audience, and they said 35. And that’s really problematic, because we know that there are 113 federally recognized in California, but then also 81 petitioning to become federally recognized, which aka means that there are so many tribes that are left off this list, and are fighting for federal recognition. So there’s more of us is the point I’m saying with the census. That was a long, roundabout way of saying like, there are more of us.
Amber Noel-Camacho 08:25
I just want to chime on that, its another form of genocide for Native people, right, where they’re eliminating us from the conversation through data. So it’s important to think about how can you decolonize that data who’s being excluded and why, and it’s a systematic form of genocide, by not including us and not including our numbers are saying we’re such a small population that we’re not going to be counted, right. And so I think being aware of how that is affecting us is really important for this conversation, because we’re so here, you know, whether we’re federally recognized or not, doesn’t mean that you’re not native, or doesn’t mean that you’re not a tribe. And they’re eliminating us by putting that label on it, and then eliminating us from the data. So I just see it as another form of genocide. And so I really challenge people to think about like, the context around data, how it’s collected, who’s included, who’s making the rules, and doing more of like, I’ve been trying to look at doing more of, like, indigenous data collection, and I don’t know how to explain that, but like letting us decide how we’re counted and letting us be a part of that conversation.
joshuah whittinghill 09:46
Excellent, that that’s one of the reasons we wanted to share the data to actually then get your input to hear kind of what is because that’s, unfortunately, for many situations. That’s what we have is what is given to us, right and what’s available. Until we get to meet and work with people who are doing work around it to create better access and better information, then then we’re not going to know.
Amber Noel-Camacho 10:10
And even just considering all the tribes and you check the box Native American, but think about how many specific tribes that there are. And you’re lumping us all into one category. Right? So again, like, let us be part of the conversation, let us choose how we want to be included and identified in that data.
Teresa Hernandez 10:31
Thank you for that. And for for myself, and as well as for our listeners, can we get clarification around what it means to be federally recognized? And what that like, kind of what that process is? And what the importance of it are? Yeah.
Vanessa Esquivido 10:46
Oh, do we have like three hours. So just to kind of like, the real, you know, small definition is that when you are federally recognized as a tribe, the United States government recognizes you as a sovereign nation, so they recognize your sovereignty. The thing is, though, is that we all are still sovereign, right? We don’t we’re not asking for the federal government to give us this right. We’re already inherently sovereign. But it’s, like Amber said, right, it’s another layer of genocide. And it’s another layer of removing indigenous peoples from their ties to their land. And so if we can say that, you know, hey, we recognize you as being Indian. When we did boarding schools, we recognize you as being an Indian, when there was removal, we recognize you have been Indian every other time. But when you go for around the 1970s, after termination, we’re still in termination. But around termination, they were able to say, our federal government, where it was able to say that you are not federally recognized or this tribe, it’s also really important. And I, the example I give oftentimes, to my classes is that it’s really specific. So I’m Nor Rel Muk Wintu, so I’m about two hours away from Redding. And my tribes not federally recognized, you know, but we also have really high valued land that has timber and water and resources, right. And so there’s a reason why we’re not really recognizes. There’s a reason why the Miwokan Ohlone, who’s in the Bay Area are not really recognized because we know Bay Area is extremely expensive to live in. Also, like for example, LA, right, the tones of people are not recognized. And again, for going back to the quote of the day from Chief Seattle, literal, the Duwamish Tribe, who’s Chief Seattle is from, is not really recognized. And so we see these huge Metropolitan places that do not have recognized tribes. I don’t know if that helped, or made it more confusing.
Teresa Hernandez 12:40
It definitely does. And I think it also helps, as we go further, along with the different questions kind of put everything into perspective from the beginning and kind of seeing what exactly these issues are that we’re looking at. And so
He-Lo Ramirez 12:54
Teresa, if you don’t mind, I want to add on to that,
Teresa Hernandez 12:57
No, please go ahead.
He-Lo Ramirez 12:58
All right. I just wanted to add, just like Vanessa said, being federally recognized versus not being federally recognized doesn’t mean that you’re not Native American, it just means that the government doesn’t recognize a government to government relationship with you. And the federal government has a whole list of legal ease of federal recognition, but some of them happens to be that you own land and you exercise sovereignty on that land. Well, what do they do? They took our land. And it doesn’t mean that they never signed a treaty with you, because nor Vanessa’s Nor Rel Muk Wintu and then also Mechoopda, we signed treaties in 1851. But those treaties were never ratified, and they were hidden in secret. So it’s not that we never signed treaties, we have established a government to government relationship with federal government in the past. There just don’t recognize it. So I think it’s important to be like, oh, you should have signed a treaty, we did sign treaties. And in those treaties, we had to give up our land. In exchange for that. They said, we’ll set aside a reservation for you somewhere. But they never did that. So I just want to add that for clarification.
Vanessa Esquivido 13:58
It’s just that this, all of this is so complex, and it’s always hard to like give these fast kind of definitions when it means so much to who we are as a people, right, like, how much fight we have to do to be to go through that recognition. But anyways, yeah, I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole. But good job. He-Lo.
joshuah whittinghill 14:17
No, thank you. It is it’s not it’s not this new thing that’s happening. It is centuries, right of policy legislation. And things being enacted, all in the power of one group doing doing all of the enacting. That leads us into a number of different things. And so we’ve heard a little bit about what Vanessa specifically is doing with her work. But Amber, can you share with us because you work at Chico State and you work in the Office of Tribal Relations. Can you let us know what the office, what it is sort of what your mission is? And how what are some of the services you’re offering for our students and for the community, especially during these times.
Amber Noel-Camacho 15:03
Sure. So our overall vision is to through our actual office and physical space to provide a center for Native students, community and tribal governments to facilitate belonging, in higher education and on campus. And then we are basically just like a connection point for Chico State for our students, you know, social, emotional, academic, cultural support. And, you know, really incorporating that into what we’re doing so that our Native students can have a sense of belonging. And so I’m going to go through a list, kind of quickly, I’m sure I’ll forget. But some of the things that we do, we do a Native American welcome reception. So every fall, we try to connect our new Native students with current Native students and resources on campus. And we do a Native American graduation celebration that we kind of revitalize. Recently, we’ve had you know, two or three. And we provide a traditional sash and necklace, we invite all six regional tribes, their Chairman or Chairwoman are invited to attend and speak to the graduates. We include high school, Butte College and or other community colleges in the area. And it’s really an important event, because we are inviting the whole community and all the tribes together on campus for that event to honor our native graduates. Another big event we do is our storytelling event in March, which is Women of Wisdom, where we invite a traditional storyteller, to come to campus and tell stories, and really recognize and honor our native women. And then other things that we do we do, Oh, my gosh, we do trainings. A lot of what we’ve been doing lately is, you know, I’ve sat on panels and trainings for like whole departments on campus, talking about the land acknowledgement, and what that means for Chico State and educating around like that Chico State is and still is on Mechoopda land. And talking about why that land acknowledgement is important and tribal relations, establishing those governments and government relationships with tribes, and educating people on the history of boarding schools, and why Native students and Native communities might not trust the education system. We have a lot of like micro and macro aggressions that happen to our students on campus. So when something comes up, our student will tell us will usually help the student with the situation and then educate the campus on Hey, this is happening today in real life to our students. Let’s have a conversation and try to prevent this from happening to our students in the future. So we do things like that, you know, trainings speaker series. We have a Native American club on campus. So we try to meet with them once a month and do cultural relevant activities. We provide academic support, we help them with housing, we help them with their financial aid and applying for scholarships. We work directly with financial aid to work with tribal education departments. I’m trying to think, I know I’m forgetting stuff. I’m trying to hit on all the things that our Native students need help with, whether it’s housing, financial aid, we help them with jobs, resumes, cover letters, all those things. Because really, when a native student is coming to, you know, Chico State or higher education, we want to really have cultural consideration for where they’re coming from, and incorporate their cultural values into their experience. So they feel like they belong at Chico State. And I think that having that awareness that our Native students might be coming from a different perspective is one of the main things that we try to do in our office. So
joshuah whittinghill 19:29
I was about to say so in your free time you come on to podcast and you make jewelry and art. It doesn’t sound like you have a lot of free time to do those things so
Amber Noel-Camacho 19:42
Well and it’s important to know all our graduation sashes and necklaces are handmade so that I do a lot of that in my free time.
joshuah whittinghill 19:51
You and the office. It’s such a such a needed resource that’s been you know, vacant and missing for so long. Then talking to a few people from different campuses, so many different campuses don’t get to have anything, you know, even a 10th of what you all are able to do and help in our on our campus and around local community as well. So it’s much needed and very appreciated.
Amber Noel-Camacho 20:16
And I mostly just covered the Student Services side, I didn’t even touch on the actual director of tribal relations. Rachel McBride-Praetorius, I think it’s important to note that Chico State created this position, and it’s the first and all 23 CSU. Rachel is the first director of tribal relations in the CSU system. And she does a whole other. I mean, she does a whole other section that I don’t even touch. I’m mostly Student Services, but she is definitely someone else. That just needs to be recognized because she has that direct working relationship with Mechoopda and the other tribes. She works with Gail, who’s now the president for the Native American initiative for all 23 CSU. So they work with the other CSU campuses and the chancellor’s office, she’s the one who works on the MOU. She’s the one who’s helping create that new program that He-Lo’s in. So I definitely want to just say that I didn’t cover everything that our office does, there’s a whole nother list that Rachel does, including other things like NAGPRA, which is the Native American Graves Repatriation Act, and working with the anthropology department for items that Chico State has and other things like that, that she is also working on.
Teresa Hernandez 21:43
Seems like an easier question would have been what do you not do in terms of that, and I’m glad that you know, you took the time and explained everything. Because when students listen to this, if there’s resources out there that they may not be aware of or know, they, they know now, or at least know where to go. Um, so talking about regarding our students and kind of how to best support them and resources out there. He-Lo, I’m curious to see if you could speak upon and help us out with just letting us know what a current issues are Native students talking about right now? And what are they working on?
He-Lo Ramirez 22:18
So current issues I’m familiar with, one, just access to internet, the Tribal Relations Office has been great, because they’ve been able to provide hotspots. I don’t know exactly how they work. But I’m guessing they use like cellular data, internet stuff to like to do it. So that helps for the majority of students. But some students live in such remote places that not only do they have like, regular internet, but they don’t have like cellular service internet. So how do you help them because if you’re living on a reservation, your population density is very low, and you’re not really covered by public utilities and such. Another thing is just part of being virtual and online learning is we don’t have physical steady spaces. We, as an American students had built kind of a study group, and we would meet on campus, usually at the Tribal Relations Office to do that study. So that’s been an issue of just not having that physical space to do that. And then also is housing, there’s been issues of housing, people trying to find new places to live, trying to afford places. There were some people that signed lease agreements, and then because they expected it to be some part in person, but then those classes that were in person became not in person. So then they were stuck in Chico, so stuff like that.
Teresa Hernandez 23:42
Yeah, and that’s hard. That’s, it seems to be one of the main things, you know, we don’t take into consideration when we’re virtual, we see the positives and the negatives, negatives of it. And a huge thing as simple as even having just plain access period is so crucial for our students and is affecting a lot of them right now. And, unfortunately,
joshuah whittinghill 24:02
And He-Lo you’ve been on campus for for a few years now. And did have you seen a shift since the Tribal Relations Office was developed and in the the community building for Native students on campus?
He-Lo Ramirez 24:15
I have it’s increased dramatically since I’ve been here. So I was the president of the Native American club for a few years, and I was president of the New American club before there was even the Tribal Relations Office. So that was kind of the hub of meeting new Native American students. But we were very, fairly small. And I knew, okay, this isn’t all the Native Americans that are on campus. But we as a club didn’t have access to the data and tools to reach out to potentially Native American students and invite them in. But with the Tribe Relations Office, you have all the services that Native American students need and one hub. If they don’t have it, then they’ll send you to the person that can get it for you. And then also just creates a community space where Native Americans can feel welcome. Just walk on in and just be like, Hi My name is so so I’m pomo. And they’re like, Hey, I’m He-Lo. I’m Mechoopda, and then be like, hey, oh, wait, you’re my cousin. Yeah, you’re my cousin. Oh, wait, come in to share some food. Let’s talk about some acorn mash. What do you do over there? Like, oh, yeah, we like black acorn. Oh, yeah, I do belly. Okay, corn. So you’re going to really develop a sense of community with the Tribal Relations Office that you couldn’t do before.
joshuah whittinghill 25:24
Right, that’s great to hear. Because I haven’t noticed it being on campus for about 25 years or so of seeing the shift in that because in the 90s, there were different centers set up for different affinity groups, and they were all in, in a certain area. And then those buildings were torn down, and a new building was built. And then everything kind of went away for a number of years, for groups. So that’s great to hear and see that it is having it’s also a wonderful impact. And uplifting for students outside of the office. And students doing things together on their own is really great to see again. And so you’ve talked about some of the issues with remote learning. But the next question we had we talked about is what what else is happening in Native communities in regards to education or health, or access as a result of COVID now. Do we know there’s more than than just the internet access and the students. But what are some other things that we’re that you’re seeing happen and trying to work on right now.
He-Lo Ramirez 26:27
So a couple big things is COVID and then the wildfires. So I’ve personally had a few elders die due to COVID related health issues this past few months. And then also with the relations over in Oroville with the last Bear Fire with North Complex Fire, whichever name they’re deciding on now. That burnt down, the Mooretown Rancheria at Feather Falls, and then also burned down Berry Creek Rancheria. And then I know, you know, Frankie from who’s a student, he’s from Berry Creek Rancheria, his grandma’s place burned down. So we’ve had several local Native Americans, just with the fires and COVID really get hit hard.
Amber Noel-Camacho 27:11
Well I just want to piggyback off that, what He-Lo was saying, because I know with the Campfire. Um, you know, it really devastated the community. And with the Campfire, you know, there were a lot of resources rolled out to students and staff. And there was a lot of support from what I remember, you know, because I had co-workers who lost their homes, students who lost their homes, and I think with the Bear or North Complex Fire, it impacted our Native students heavily. But I don’t see that same support that I saw with the campfire for this fire. And so it has displaced, you know, some of our students, and like He-Lo was saying, you know, some people lost their homes or, you know, students are isolated and alone in their room, because they don’t have a place to go back home to. And so they’re alone, and they’re living on campus in a room by themselves, because that’s the only place where they have a space to sleep or have internet access. And again, going back to the rural areas being impacted by the fire, and then also not being able to go home because of COVID having to stay alone in your room, a lot of our Native students are living alone, on or near campus.
Vanessa Esquivido 28:38
I just want to add on to that too, which is really huge, right? Like, we come from a very tight knit communities that rely on each other. And so when we are isolated, it’s extremely, it can be extremely, like harsh on on our on our people, because we’re used to being in multi generational households, right? Like, a lot of us don’t live in just, you know, the parents and then the kids like, you know, in the house, right? We have our grandparents, we have our elders, we have our cousins, we have whoever staying on the couch that night, right? So we are really used to being in a very tight knit community. And when COVID um, you know, I keep hearing these these numbers of like, you know, it’s not, I mean, the numbers are going really high for COVID. But when you think about our communities, like when we lose two or three people like that is devastating to our community, that is devastating to our knowledge that’s being lost, you know, or not even just thinking about it in that way, but just, you know, thinking about it and, and our relationships in our community. And yeah, I just wanted to add that part on there too.
joshuah whittinghill 29:41
Historically, we tend to learn a lot of very specific things about the native community and history of Native Americans. And they’re, they’re the, they’re the here, here’s this person, right. There’s very set stories that we hear and they teach us growing up in the United States and K through 12 education and depending on what part of the country you live in, you’re going to hear different stories to that region. But there’s some national ones. But um, so what are some things that that people should know? Or you’d like people to know that they probably would never ever know without listening to this episode, or taking one of your courses or coming in to the Tribal Relations Office, or even sitting down and talking to my Native student.
He-Lo Ramirez 30:26
A quick off the back, just know, we all don’t get money. Only tribes that own businesses that generate money, get money, Mechoopda tribe doesn’t own any large businesses that generate money, so I don’t get anybody. Second, we don’t get free education, I have $50,000 in student debt, you don’t get free education. Just because you’re Native American, that doesn’t work. Except if you are in a tribe that owns a large business that generates a lot of revenue, then they can support you, because then they can pay for your education. So that’s why tribes want to own large businesses that generate lots of revenue. And thirdly, all Native Americans are different. Like you can’t just say you’re Native American. So you’re like this person, like, we’re uniquely different, like, California Indians, especially, we have a lot of diversity and who we are, we have so many tribes in California, we have like over 150 or so. So, yeah, we’re diverse in nature. And we don’t get a lot of the free handouts that people think we do. I don’t know why people think that also we pay taxes. I don’t know why people think we don’t pay taxes. But yeah, we pay taxes.
Vanessa Esquivido 31:28
Um I think thats fantastic, He-Lo, he hit on all the like great points, our best hits, right, of stuff we have to encounter on a daily basis. I would also say that we all look very different. People often say, well, you don’t look like Indian, like, what does that mean? Like? Do you want me to be in a headdress or like, you know, the stereotype. And so I think that it’s really important to know that, you know, often in a room full of people, there are native people there. People often think that like, we’re this like, thing that’s not around, we are around, we’re in these places. And so, you know, we just, we look different ways. You know, there are Afro indigenous peoples, you know, we are mixed, there are white passing Indian, like, you know, like, we all look very different. I think it’s really important to point to that, you know, the idea that you have in your head of Pocahontas like, you know, maybe we do kind of look like that, of course, you know, because Pocahontas No, No, I’m kidding. We do not look like that. Right? We definitely look different. And I would say that the data is often wrong. Wherever you go, we’re always talks about being 1%. But we’re way higher way higher numbers. I think that’s what I got to say from. Yeah, yeah.
Amber Noel-Camacho 32:40
I’ll just comment on that. Like, you don’t know who’s in the room until you know, and especially if you’re, you know, teaching a course on campus, or, you know, giving a talk like, because you don’t know who’s in the room, like be mindful of, you know, what you’re saying or doing or presenting because you could potentially have Native students in the room. And we have had students who have experienced, you know, microaggressions, because someone’s making an assumption. And just think critically about that, like, we all look different. We don’t all live in teepees, and wear headdresses and think about the resources in the area, right, like California, we don’t have buffalo. So of course, we don’t have teepees, like, look at the land and what it’s providing and, and how that speaks to the the people from that area. Right. Like the Pueblos, or, you know, Northern California versus the plains like, we all are very diverse, and our language, our culture, our customs are related to the land. So if you’re questioning, like, what do they look like? Or what do they live in? Look at where they came from, right? Like, I think thinking more critically about that, and how it can relate to our identity is important.
joshuah whittinghill 34:00
And yeah, these are all excellent things to hear. Thank you very much for sharing that because that’s part of the The goal of this of our podcast, right, Teresa to help provide this, this voice and this information and educate on different levels for people. So one thing I was I was having a discussion recently with some some some people and they weren’t sure I was talking about Native and I said that and they said, I said Native students, and we’re having a discussion on Native faculty. And they said, so like they’re from Chico. And so so then they said, so So what? I said no, I said, Native Americans, they said, so what do we say like people in general and the discussion? And I don’t think they’re alone, when they talk about Native groups or Native tribes or communities. The question was, do I say Native American? Do I say American Indian? Do I say Native American Indian? So can you speak to that a little bit of I think that’s some of the uncomfort that people have and just approaching a discussion of a group in of any group that there not familiar with they’re not part of, but they don’t want to be offensive, but they also want to be able to have the discussion. So can you speak to that even? Would be great to hear
He-Lo Ramirez 35:13
Okay, I’ll go um, I thought it was funny like Amber said so like us local Natives like usually just the slang is Native like, I don’t know, it’s just seems to be like a were Native your Native. But that is funny that you said people think if you say Native they mean like local, Euro American people not the Native Americans because I get that a lot since I’m you know born raised in Chico and I’m Mechoopda is like, Oh, yeah, I’m Native from Chico, just like, I’m Native too, my grandpappy moved over here in the 1800s. Oh, my people have been here for like, you know, 1000s of years. So I don’t know if that’s the same.
joshuah whittinghill 35:50
But I wish I wish He-Lo would have been unmuted when I said that, because his reaction was so funny. I would have loved to hear him laughing at that point.
He-Lo Ramirez 35:59
Yeah, but depends on who you’re talking to. If you know the specific tribe, they are saying the specific tribe or band, Native American, Native is fine. Some people prefer American Indian, but I haven’t really seen much of that over here in California. I mean, you’re not technically wrong, if you say American Indian, but it’s I don’t know, I don’t identify with that. Anyone else?
Amber Noel-Camacho 36:21
I think best practice is to ask the person, what do you prefer? And then after that, I usually try to use their specific tribe. Because again, when we’re saying Native American, you’re lumping you know, hundreds of tribes into one label. And then after that, I think I prefer Native American, American Indian is a dated term. So if you’re like trying to do research or find information, you probably want to use American Indian. But the term Indian, we know is a misnomer, right? How Columbus thought he was an Indian. And he saw, you know, the people when he landed, and he said, oh, they’re Indians. So the term Indian is a misnomer. So that’s one reason why I don’t like American Indian. And then just the idea of America, and the name America, how it was founded, and how that impacted Native peoples. I don’t particularly like the use of American Indian. But again, you know, it’s it’s a term that you see, even at Chico State, it’s an a minor in American Indian Studies. So it is a term that we still have to use. But again, I think best practice is to stick with the specific tribe.
joshuah whittinghill 37:40
Thank you. And that that raises, even a discussion of looking at the book in common that Chico State is using this school year is how to be an anti-racist. And you mentioned that you’re you’re in the office that does work around Native students and faculty and staff in the community. Yet you see that there is this minor American Indian Studies. So a policy that’s already in place. It’s something that’s there from years and years gone by when it was first established, then is that something that the Tribal Relations Office is working on? To see about transitioning that name?
Amber Noel-Camacho 38:19
I think ideally, the answer would be yes. But I think it’s important to understand that the Office of Tribal Relations is very new. We’ve been here for two years, I have only been in my position for one year now, I just finished my first year. There’s two people in the Office of Tribal Relations. And so we kind of have to compartmentalize and prioritize where we’re going to devote our time and our energy. And at this point in time, what I like to see the name of that change. Yes. Is that something that is at the top of my priority list? Unfortunately, no. I think as we expand and grow, hopefully we can start to affect and change that policy. I know there are other policies and things that Rachel is working on, but it’s just in terms of manpower and resources. There’s only two of us in the office. I don’t know if that makes sense. But
joshuah whittinghill 39:18
No, it’s perfect. Yeah, that’s I mean, that’s Yeah. And it’s, it’s an excellent power that you all have in that office, like you’ve already demonstrated. And so those of us who are on campus, get to see and know that it’s happening. It’s been a great 45-50 minute discussion, but unfortunately, because we’re constrained by that social construct of time, we’re going to have to wrap this up. But to go ahead and wrap up our episodes, we like to have recommendations. And so if you all can go ahead and share your recommendations for the listeners. Not Not everybody at once.
Vanessa Esquivido 39:58
Yeah, so I put in the chat, so hopefully, it can go on the show notes. And it’s a blog by Cutcha Risling Balding, she is one of the leading, you know, academic scholars that’s coming out from, you know, California Native peoples. And so I think it’s really important. So if you’re in California, you should be Californian, you know, text and articles and blogs. And so I put that one in chat, but also, you know, for all my Chico State peeps out there, definitely check out, you know, American Indian Studies, any of our classes, they’re fantastic and actually taught by Native peoples. So those are my recommendations.
joshuah whittinghill 40:34
Thank you. And then all of these recommendations will be in the show notes for sure on the website, and if you listen on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and just last week, we were approved. So now we’re on iHeartRadio, as well. But all of these notes will be in there for you to see. And okay, Amber.
Amber Noel-Camacho 40:54
So I included that last link in the chat. It’s actually the signs, land acknowledgement. So just maybe reading and using and being aware of that on Chico State campus, and then just understand that, that is approved by the Mechoopda Indian Tribe. So don’t change any of the wording or the language, because then if you change it, it’s no longer you know, a document that was recognized by the tribe. And you don’t want to diminish that government to government relationship that was established in us to create the document. So I just say, you know, be aware that Chico State on Mechoopda land, look at the land acknowledgement, use it, read it. And then also just know that we have Native students on campus, you never know who’s in the room. If you have questions, check out the Office of Tribal Relations. Check out our website. This link is also on our website. And then also, I think one thing I want to see on campuses, I want to see more space for Native students I want to see an American Indian Studies major and department, and I want to see us become a destination school for Native American students.
joshuah whittinghill 42:16
Yeah, that would be great when the Chico State still at the forefront of doing the number of things around diversity access and equity, of course would be wonderful to have here. And He-Lo, do you have a recommendation or two or three or more for us?
He-Lo Ramirez 42:35
Yes, I have a recommendation. I included a link to the Mechoopda Indian Tribes governmental website. On the website, they have information about their history. So history of the tribe at contact, who was the first contact who was probably the first contact, but did they see they have information of the Treaty of 1851 that I mentioned earlier, all the goods and promises including a large reservation of Butte County, which we don’t have, but we were promised about half of Butte County. A policy of removal. They have the history of that. So after we didn’t get our reservation, they decided to do the Concow Trail of Tears, a forced death march from Butte County, which started on Chico State campus on Jon Venables Ranch and went towards Covelo, California. So that’s now around Valley reservation. Many people died, mainly women and children, the US Calvary escorted them there. And by that they killed anyone who didn’t keep up with pace. They have information about the life on John Bedrolls Ranch, they have information about the tribes where you birth, and then also information about our culture, our religion, and stuff like that. So if you want to know the information about the history and culture of the tribe, that your land that you’re living on, it’s all there for you to read publicly.
joshuah whittinghill 43:52
Yes, thank you. Teresa, do you have any recommendations for today?
Teresa Hernandez 43:58
Um, I would say my recommendation, just like maybe majority of our listeners, I’m also learning and I want to learn and be knowledgeable about all these current issues that are happening not within the different communities, right. And so I was, my recommendation would be to utilize these resources and also do research on your own look into it. If you’re interested in it, look up these questions. They’re incredibly important. We see it happening to a number of our marginalized communities. And society has been brought out more and more it’s been an we’re all more enlightened into it. So definitely look into it. Because you’ll notice that you know, the unity within a lot of these issues are happening with these different communities. They’re all pretty similar. And to be able to unify and gather around that and just know that, you know, there’s just like you need support. There’s others out there that also needs support and just kind of band together. So definitely do your research and look into everything and don’t be afraid to ask questions because we don’t, otherwise we don’t we can’t learn.
joshuah whittinghill 44:58
Thanks for that. I only have one recommendation for today, which I was turned on to about six, seven months ago is native-land.ca and it’s a great website where you can then see different around the world, you can see different native communities that the territories they have, or that they had. And then also what languages are spoken. So you can see where you specifically live, what tribes were around there, what languages and what are some of the treaties that have been put into place affecting those areas. And so that’s a great one native-land.ca It’s an interactive map too. So it’s, it’s a good resource. Um well, again, I want to say thank you from me, I know Teresa is going to take us out. But thank you all three for being here. It’s wonderful to have you and knowing how much you’re doing and taking the time to be with us really means a lot.
Teresa Hernandez 46:02
Yeah, I thank you all so much for the work that you’ve been doing are doing and will continue to do for our students for our communities. And so just something for you all to think about when you log off this podcast as a little quote by Paulo Freire, education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity, or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of the world. So essentially, we each can have our own interpretation, mine would be really using education, that knowledge, knowledge is power, and really educating yourself on and so I hope and I know that with our Chico State students, you were all actively doing that and will continue to actively do that. Because you are where you are right now for that same reason. So thank you all for joining us. And um 100 thank yous to our guests today for helping us learn about current issues that are happening and I hope, we all rejoin again in some time.