The Southern California Warrior Spirit Family and San Diego State University presentNative Truths and Healing: California Genocide Conference 2019

The Genocide, Oppression, Resilience, and Sovereignty
of the First Peoples of California

November 21-24, 2019


Four days of presentations, music, documentary films, and political action sessions offer attendees a chance to enhance knowledge of the California genocide and Indigenous peoples’ history. Engage with others who want to learn more about these topics and come away with new understanding. Come together with the community to share ideas for resolutions that will be sent to state officials at the end of the conference.

Conference topics include:

  • The Genocide of Indigenous Nations and Peoples
  • Traditional Healing and Indigenous Wisdom
  • Violence Against Women Act, Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Native Feminism & Matriarchal Survivance
  • History of the Mission System in California
  • Boarding Schools, Contemporary Oppression of Native School Children & Native Youth Empowerment
  • Child Welfare and ICWA: Healing Our Children, Families and Communities
  • Sacredness of Indigenous Food, Land Management and Protection
  • Repatriation
  • Contemporary Tribal Law & Restorative Justice
  • Film Festival: Tribal Justice; Doctrine of Discovery, the Code of Domination


To contribute to the truth-telling against false narrative about Indigenous nations and peoples, and to further the processes of healing ongoing historical, cultural, and intergenerational trauma; we will raise awareness about the genocide and the continued oppression of California’s Indigenous peoples, while celebrating resilience and survivance.


We envision a world wherein all peoples are respected fully and the wrongs of colonial oppression are acknowledged and rectified

Dr. Anthony R. Pico
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Nation

Honorable Chairman Dr. Harry Paul Cuero, Jr.
Campo Band of Kumeyaay Nation

Dr. James V. Fenelon

Ms. Tamara Starblanket, LLM, LLB
Nehiyaw iskwew (Cree Woman) from Ahtahkakoop First Nation in Treaty Six Territory

Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy

Dr. Benjamin Madley

Mr. Steven Newcomb

Honorable Judge Abby Abinanti

Dr. Jeffrey Ostler
University of Oregon

Honorable Chairwoman Erica Pinto
Jamul Indian Village

Dr. Debra Harry

Dr. Juana Majel-Dixon
Traditional Tribal Leader/Activist
Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians

Honorable Judge Claudette White
Fort Yuma Quechan [Kwatsan] Indian Tribe

Dr. Henry Quintero
ASU, Apache, Mexican

Mr. Kenneth G. White, Jr., MSW
Dine of Navajo Nation

Christina Snider
Tribal Advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom and Executive Secretary of the Native American Heritage Commission

Healing practitioners will be available Friday, November 22nd from 10:00 am-4:00 pm in the Center for Intercultural Relations (Student Union, Suite 250) and all day Saturday and Sunday, November 23rd and 24th in Arts and Letters, room 102. All healing practitioners are volunteers who wish to be of service to conference attendees who may feel the need for physical, emotional, and spiritual support. Offerings include cultural/traditional Native healing, energy healing, Reiki, herbal tea, and other modalities. Healers will also facilitate traditional Talking/Healing Circle Saturday 9:30-1:30.

The Cultural & Holistic Practitioners Team:

  • Antone LaBrake, Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation, Cultural Healing/Smudging
  • Julie LaBrake, Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Nation, Massage Therapy
  • Vera Tucker, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Nation, Cultural & Energy Healing
  • Grace Sesma, Kumiai/Yaqui Descent, Cultural Healing
  • Patricia Aguayo, Chicana, Support
  • Olympia Beltran, RN, Yaqui and Chichimeca, Cultural Healing
  • Michelle Castillo, Acjachemen Nation, Cultural Healing, Reiki
  • Lydia Fitch, Chicana, Reiki, Support
  • Steven Garcia, Tongva/Apache/Yaqui, Cultural Healing
  • Veronica Gohlke, Chicana/Purepecha, Herbalist, Teas
  • Celina Jacques, LMFT, Chicana of Nahua Descent, Cultural Healing, Art Therapy
  • Emilia Jara, Chicana of Nahua Descent, Cultural Healing
  • Kathy Willcuts, Lakota, Cultural Healing, Reiki, Crystal healing

Indigenous Film Festival & Music | Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019 


Native America

Gold, Greed, Genocide

Tribal Justice

Followed by a panel discussion with Honorable Judges Abby Abinanti (Yurok) and Claudette White (Quechan)


“Undamming History” Through Performance: How an Inter-tribal Partnership’s Theatrical Production Promotes Truth and Reconciliation in Rural Northern California

Lying With Badgers
Puppet Theater
Dr. Randy Reinholz

Menil and Her Heart
Isabella Madrigal

Cahuilla Band of Indians


Tracy Lee Nelson
Tracy Lee Nelson

La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians

Blest One
Blest One

Dine of Navajo Nation

Conference | Friday-Sunday, Nov. 22-24, 2019

Keynote Address

Anthony Pico
Anthony R. Pico
Ph.D. ad honorem
Viejas Band of Kumeyaay

Joe Renteria
Honoring of Legendary SDSU Photographer
Mr. Joe Renteria

Indigenous Film Festival & Music (Meet & Greets)


8:30-9:30 am

Native America Documentary


The Doctrine of Discovery Documentary and Discussion
Steven Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape)

11 am-12:30 pm

Gold, Greed, and Genocide Documentary and Discussion
Monique Sonoquie and the International Indian Treaty Conference

12:30-1:15 pm

Lunch Break (dining options are available on campus)

1:15-2 pm

Native Veterans and Genocide Studies:
Mr. Chag Lowry, Maidu/Yurok/Achumawi, Graphic Novelist, Director Sycuan Intertribal Vocational Rehabilitation

2-3:30 pm

Tribal Justice Documentary

3:30-4:30 pm

Panel Discussion with Honorable Judge Abby Abinanti, Yurok Tribe and Honorable Judge Claudette White, Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe

4:30-5 pm

Honoring Mr. Joe Renteria, Cherokee Nation

Honoring of Dr. Gwendalle Cooper, Cherokee Nation, Professor Emeritus SDSU American Indian Studies

5-6 pm

Dinner Break (dining options are available on campus)

6-7:30 pm

Native Theater and Discussion

“Undamming History” Through Performance: How an Inter-Tribal Partnership’s Theatrical Production Promotes Truth and Reconciliation in Rural Northern California

Marc Dadigan: Facilitator

Jack Potter: Chairman Redding Rancheria, co-writer and performer

Kenwa Kravitz: Wintu/Pit River Tribe, co-writer and performer

Barbara Wolfin: llmawi of the Pit River Nation, performer

8-10 pm;

Native Musical Performance

Blest One; Marlon D. White, Diné Nation

Tracy Lee Nelson, La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians

Dawn lighting of sacred fire and prayer in tribute to ancestors (at Scripps Cottage)

Opening Ceremonies | 8 -11 am

8-9 am

  • Opening Blessing by Honored Elder Virginia Christman, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Nation
  • Prayer with tobacco
  • Birdsongs and dancing
  • Explanation of the 5:27 moment of silence
  • 5:27 minutes — a collective moment of silence across the university
  • Burning sage (on the podium, etc.)
  • Honoring veterans through the prayer staff

9-10:30 am

Honored Keynote Speaker: Dr. Anthony R. Pico, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Nation

10:30-11 am

Land Acknowledgement read by Raini Tesam-Reading, Kumeyaay, Barona Band of Mission Indians

11-11:45 am

Honored Speaker: Christina Snider, Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, Tribal Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom and Executive Secretary of the Native American Heritage Commission

11:45 am-12:15 pm

Lunch Break (campus dining options are available)

12:15-1:15 pm

The Free and Independent Existence of the First Peoples in California Before Invasion
Professor Ethan Banegas, Kumeyaay, Barona Band of Mission Indians

1:15-2:15 pm

The Doctrine of Discovery and the Code of Domination
Honored Speaker: Mr. Steven Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape)

2:15-2:45 pm

Indigenous Poetry
Simon Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo, Red Ink Journal, Regents Professor Emeritus)

2:45-3:45 pm

Native Glory from Pre-contact to the 21st Century
Honored Speaker: Dr. James V. Fenelon
, Dakota/Standing Rock

Panel: Joseph Giovannetti, Tolowa Dee-ni', Gregg Castro, Ohlone/Salinan; Julia Bogany, Tongva; Matt Leivas, Chemehuevi, Luke Madrigal, Cahuilla Band of Indians;

Commentary: Dr. Renda Dionne-Madrigal, Chippewa/Turtle Mountain

4-5 pm

Ninis'a:n-na-ng'a'/ The World- came to be lying there again, the World assumed its present position: California Indian History, Genocide and Native Women
Honored Speaker: Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy (Hupa/Yurok/Karuk)
Location: Arts & Letters, room 201

5-6:15 pm

An American Genocide: The California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873
Honored Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Madley (UCLA)

6:15-6:45 pm

Dinner Reception

6:45-7:30 pm

Honored Speaker: Chairman Valentin Lopez (Amah Mutsun)

7:30-8 pm

Indigenous Healing: Prayer by Shawna Newcomb, Shawnee, Lanape, Azteca

8-10 pm

Contemporary Native Theater
Isabella Madrigal, Cahuilla Band of Indians

Plenary, Panel, and Concurrent Sessions


8-9 am

Honored Speaker: Dr. Stanley Rodriquez, Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel

9-9:15 am

Chris Medellin-Lopez (Assistant Director for the Native Resource Center, SDSU)

Concurrent event 9 am - 1:30 pm


Trauma from a Practitioners Perspective
Grace Sesma, Kumiai/Yaqui descent

Presentation to be followed by:
Talking Circle Talking/Healing Circle facilitated by Grace Sesma (Kumiai/Yaqui Descent) in in collaboration with Vera Tucker, (Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Nation), Michelle Castillo (Acjachemen), Emilia Jara (Chicana of Nahua Descent), Celina Jacques (Chicana of Nahua Descent), Lydia Fitch (Chicana), Veronica Gohlke (Chicana/Purepecha)

9:15-10:15 am

Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas
Honored Speaker: Dr. Jeffrey Ostler

10:15-10:30 am

Indigenous Healing Music 
Steven Garcia, Tongva, Apache, Yacqui

10:30-11:30 pm

Resisting the Myths of Discovery and Erasure of Genocide
Honored Speaker: Dr. Debra Harry (Paiute)

11:30-11:45 am

Indigenous Storytelling
Ami Admire, Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians and Rincon Youth Storytellers

11:45 am-12:15 pm

Lunch (dining options are available near campus)

12:15-1:15 pm

Genocide: Indigenous Nations and the State
Honored Speaker: Tamara Starblanket, LLM, LLB, Nehiyaw iskwew (Cree Woman) from Ahtahkakoop First Nation in Treaty Six Territory

1:15-2:15 pm

VAWA, Resiliency, and Empowerment 
Honored Speaker: Dr. Juana Majel-Dixon Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians, Traditional Tribal Leader, Activist, Educator

2:15 -3:15 pm

MMIW Panel Discussion

Honorable Judge Claudette White, Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe, San Manuel Tribal Court Justice

Paula Julian, Senior Policy Specialist, National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center

3:15-4 pm

Concurrent Sessions on the Mission System

Reevaluating Junipero Serra’s Canonization: Inverted Meaning, Modern Myth, and Human Rights Violation
Dr. Grzegorz Welizarowicz
Location: Storm Hall, room 12

The Branding of Genocide, the California Mission System, and Dispelling the Spanish Fantasy Heritage
Mr. Ozzie Monge, Tohono O’odham
Location: Storm Hall, room 11

Fausta and Sarafina: Indigenous Women and the Preservation of Power
Martin Rizzo
Location: Arts & Letters, room 201

4-5 pm

Panel Session on Boarding Schools and the Contemporary Understandings and Oppressions of Native School Children.
From Boarding Schools to Suspension Boards: Suspensions of Native American Students in California Public Schools

Jesus Valle (Carrizo/Yaqui/Isleta/Apache) - Professor of English and Director of the Native American Resource Center, American River College

Vanessa Esquivido (Nor Rel Muk Wintu) - Visiting Assistant Professor of Multicultural and Gender Studies, Chico State University

Marc Dadigan - Ph.D. student in Native American Studies, University of California Davis

Luke Wood - Chief Diversity Officer, San Diego State University

Ami Admire, Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, Native Connections Coordinator Indian Health Council, Inc. Rincon Storytellers Youth Coordinator

5-5:30 pm

Indigenous Healing and Art

Johnny Bear Contreras, Kumeyaay, San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians

Jessie Gomez (Luiseño, artist, activist)

5:30-6:30 pm

Dinner Break (dinner not provided, dining options are available near campus)

6:30-7:30 pm

Addressing Genocide by Creating an Indigneous Holisitc Healing Model-Warrior Spirit

Mr. Kenneth G. White, MSW, Dine Nation

8-10 pm

Native Theater Performance
Lying With Badgers, Randy Reinholz (Choctaw)

Youth Day Activities, Plenary, Panel, and Concurrent Sessions


8:30-9 am

Blessing and Healing

Mr. Kenneth G. White, Jr. MSW, Dine Nation
Founding partner of “Calling upon the Warrior Spirit to Heal Historical Trauma Conference and Ceremony”

Youth Bird Singers Jake and Dakota Jacome, Kumeyaay, Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians

9-9:30 am

In The Life of Indigenous Ninja Warriors

Abram Benally, Dine Nation

9:30-10:15 am

Empowering Youth thru Cultural Resiliency

Ms Jacque Tahuka-Nunez, Juaneno Band of Mission Indians, of the Acjachem Nation

Mr. Ivan Sam, Dine Nation

Ana Gloria “Martha” Rodriquez, Matt Perhaw

10:15-11:15 am

Panel Session on Child Welfare and ICWA: Healing Our Children, Families, and Communities: SERVE: Indigenous Social Workers for Change, SDSU Indigenous Social Work Alliance, Seventh Generation Workgroup including Linda Ruis, Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel

11:30 am-12:30 pm

Panel Session on Native Language Restoration and Native Stories

Doña Yolanda Meza, Nejí/Kumiai--Tipai Speaker

Dr. Margaret Field, SDSU American Indian Studies

12:15-1 pm

Lunch Break (campus dining options are available)

1-2:30 pm

Joint Sessions Panel on Land Relationships & Retelling of
California Indian Histories

Professor Michael Connelly Miskwish, Campo Band of Kumeyaay Nation

Dr. Henry Quintero, Apache/Mexican, ASU, Red Ink Journal

Professor William Madrigal, Cahuilla Band of Indians, UC Riverside

2:30-3:15 pm

The Possibility of Compensatory and Non-Compensatory Reparations in the Context of the California Genocide
Dr. J. Angelo Corlett

3:15-4 pm

Political Action Session

4-5 pm

Tribal Chairwomen Leadership: Indigenous Women Continuing the Protection and Safety of our Tribal Communities

Honorable Chairwoman Erica Pinto, Jamul Indian Village

Honorable Vice-Chairwoman Wendy Schlater, La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians

5-6 pm

Closing Ceremonies

  • Presentation of Conference Resolutions
  • SDSU Senate Resolution — Kumeyaay flag be permanently flown at SDSU
  • Closing Flag Ceremony
  • Closing Prayer Honored Traditional Leader Dixon

Closing Prayer by Dr. Juana Majel-Dixon, Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians, Traditional Tribal Leader, Activist, Educator

Conference Location

San Diego State University campus

Thursday and Friday, Nov. 21-22, Conrad Prebys Student Union Theater
Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23-24: Arts & Letters building, Room 201


Viejas Casino and Resort

A block of 30 rooms has been set aside for the conference (November 21st-25th) at Viejas Casino and Resort.

Hurry and book now! You will have until October 21st to book their discounted guest rooms with the code 191121CGC. You can use this code both online at or by calling our reservation line at 619-445-5400.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact: Mark Wheeler [email protected] or Tamara Strohauer [email protected]

tribal band
Sponsored by the Southern California Warrior Spirit Team, regional tribal leaders and community members, the Director of the SDSU Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs, the SDSU President, professors in the SDSU departments of American Indian Studies, Anthropology, Chicano/a Studies, the School of Social Work, the Sycuan Tribal Gaming Institute, and the SDSU School of Theater, Television, and Film.