(FOX40.COM) — More than 400 tribal members, dignitaries, and students gathered to unveil the first-ever Capitol monument acknowledging tribes residing in California and their millennia-long presence on land now known as California.
“This monument—now a centerpiece of Capitol Park—adds a new and long overdue chapter to California’s relationship with its tribes,” said Assemblymember James Ramos. “As a state, we are beginning to tell our history from a broader, more complete, and accurate perspective by including the voice of California Native Americans.”
Ramos is reported to be the first California Native American elected to the legislature since statehood in 1850. He authored AB 338 in 2021, which authorized the monument.
“As Native Americans, we have been invisible, romanticized, minimized, or disparaged for centuries. That is not easily or quickly undone. But today I am proud to be Native American and proud to be a Californian,” Ramos said.
The historic tribute recognizes the Sacramento region tribes of Wilton Rancheria, Ione Band of Miwok Indians, Chicken Ranch Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians, Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians, and Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians.
Some attendees of the unveiling included state treasurer Fiona Ma, local school board members and other elected officials, regional tribal leaders, and more than 300 students from area schools.
“Today’s unveiling signifies the start of a new era at the California State Capitol,” said Wilton Rancheria Chairman Jesus Tarango. “One where we stop uplifting a false narrative and start honoring the original stewards of this land by telling a true and accurate portrayal of California’s journey to statehood.”