San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

The Native Resource Center celebrates California Native Day

In celebration of Native Day, SDSU students come together to enjoy a day of cultural games, snacks and more
Dominique Rocha
Jacob Alvarado Waipuk poses at the Recreation Field 103 during the Native Day celebration on Sept. 23.

San Diego State University’s Native Resource Center hosted an event honoring California’s 56th annual Native Day on Friday, Sept. 23. 

Despite a surprise in weather conditions, students participated in a day of cultural celebration and community representation at the Recreation Field 103 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

California’s Native Day — taking place every year on Sept. 22 — honors the history and culture of Native Americans, and it is a day dedicated to the celebration of the important contributions made by the California Native American Tribal communities. 

This year, with the theme being “Protecting Our People Through Sovereignty: Past, Present And Future,” SDSU’s Native Resource Center celebrated the day by teaching students about some of the many different traditional Native games. They started the day off with a game of Shinny, a traditional Native game that resembles field hockey. 

Native Day attendees play Shinny at the Recreation Field 103 on Sept. 23. (Dominique Rocha)

The game is played with wooden sticks and a small wooden ball. The objective of the game is to score points by hitting the ball into the goal. The group also played another traditional game known as Pushook, which is a Kumeyeey dice game. Attendees also took part in other activities, such as playing Jenga. 

“Being a Kumeyaay person, I think these are traditional and cultural practices that we try to maintain,” said Raini Tesam, American Indian Studies Department coordinator and SDSU alumni. “We need to continue to pass them on because if not they will be forgotten.”

Others who were not members of the resource center came to show their support as well. Students from American Indian studies classes came to learn more about the subject. 

“College is such a big place,” Sofia Banegas, a first-year student, said. “Having people that come together that aren’t necessarily a part of this organization really provides that outreach.” 

Attendees came to take part in the activities centered around the day of resistance and learn more about the importance of being an ally.

“Ally relationships are huge. People are opening their hearts and seeing what has happened with these lands,” said Jacob Alvarado Waipuk, an assistant professor of American Indian Studies and Native Resource Center inaugural tribal liaison.

The San Diego State Native Resource Center is located at West Commons 115 and is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m and Fridays from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

For more information visit the Native Resource Center here.