‘All Nations Day’ celebrates Native American culture

On Nov. 6, Cosumnes River College celebrated All Nations Day in the campus quad.

The event started with an opening prayer led by a Maori dancer from New Zealand. The weather was nice and warm as people gathered around the quad to watch the Maori dancers, and dancers from other tribes.

Maori Dancer Nico Ihimaera Rooseboom-de Varies took the time to explain a very powerful dance called the Haka, performed by natives in his home country of New Zealand.

“When I perform the Haka war dance, it’s like invoking my family and culture,” said Rooseboom-de Varies. “It makes me feel closer to my home land, even though I’m living here in California.”

Looking out in the audience, I noticed a young gentleman who seemed to be very interested in the Haka dance.

“I was really moved, by his performance, and would like to learn the dance myself,” said 23-year-old business major, Keith Benjamin.                         

The event featured different vendors and performances from various tribes in California, as well as other nations. The vendors were selling different types of Native American crafts like obsidian, clam shell necklaces and other traditional native art work.

“Every time I throw this event, the majority of the people don’t think about Native Americans as still being around today,” said Event Coordinator Tanya Reyes. “I feel we need to bring more awareness of Native American culture.”

There were also Native tribes present to educate students about the North Dakota Access Pipeline issue with the Sioux Indians at Standing Rock. They were encouraging students to become more informed about the topic.

“We want more people to come visit our museum, and see the vast items we have; we have lots of artifacts, that are important to the Native American people today,” said Olga Ochoa, a docent from the California State Indian Museum. “It’s a great way for the community to learn about California’s Native American history.”

The California State Indian Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday in Downtown Sacramento. For more information on the museum you can call 916-324-0971.