The City of San Fernando, along with the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians in San Fernando, will host the second annual Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration here on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Recreation Park from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Festivities will include many performers, including Jessa Calderon, Tracy Lee Nelson, Aztlan Underground, a special appearance by Kumu Hula, Mikilani Young, Kawahineali’inohoik-eanuenue’elua.
The day will also be highlighted by arts and crafts workshops, indigenous food, the California Bird Singers, Native Storytellers, Danza Azteca, Indigenous Spoken Word and Hip Hop, drum circles, games and more.
In 2015 San Fernando became the first Southern California city to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day in place of the Christopher Columbus Day holiday.
And in August, the Los Angeles City Council voted to remove Columbus Day from the city’s holiday calendar and replace it with Indigenous Peoples Day. The Board of Supervisors also voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, while designating Oct. 12 as Italian Heritage Day.
Both changes take effect in 2019.
Columbus Day is still a federal holiday.
Fernandeño Tataviam tribal President Rudy Ortega Jr., who, as chairman of the L.A. City-County Native American Commission helped lobby city and county officials for the holiday change, was recognized with other commissioners for their efforts by LA Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (13th District) during ceremonies at the UCLA Fowler Building on Monday, Oct. 9.
O’Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Native American Tribe, introduced the motion to the council for making Indigenous Peoples Day a city holiday to honor Native Americans.
“It was a fantastic time,” said Ortega, after he and other commissioners received certificates from O’Farrell.
The commission also presented O’Farrell and chair Chrissie Castro with traditional blankets. The ceremony also included pow wow drums, honor songs, and performances by Aztec dancers.