California Indians: Making a Difference

Developed under a Native tribal advisory council over a two year period, California Indians: Making A Difference is the only exhibit of its kind in California to use Native voice and to represent over 100 tribes across the Golden State.

The 3,000-square foot gallery showcases the unique contributions of the state’s Native peoples through artifacts, art, 13 oral histories at 6 video stations and an interactive Native language kiosk.

Over 400 artifacts -- many of which have never publicly viewed before -- are displayed including:

- 100th anniversary of Ishi's 1911 discovery including rare fur cape, arrowhead and historical newspaper clips

- Rare basketry woven by 20th century Native artists Dotsolalee and Lucy Telles

- The Chipped Stone Bear, California's official prehistoric artifact

- Sacred white deer dance ceremonial dress and artifacts

- Creation mythology and art from Miwok

- Oral histories from notable Native activist L. Frank Manriques and anthropologist Bradley Marshall

- Life-sized reproduction of a Channel Island pygmy mammoth

- Works from contemporary Native artists Frank La Peña, Harry Fonseca and Fritz Sholder

Utilizing the voices and experiences of the state’s Native peoples, the exhibit presents stories of adaptation and triumph that ultimately prove California Indians have not only survived but continue to thrive in the state’s constantly changing conditions.

This permanent exhibit program will feature new artifacts during its second installation phase in 2012.

Photo: (left) Cooking basket by Adeline Polo Eaph, c. 1860. (right) Gathering basket by Mildred Burley, 2010.

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