October 11 marks the second annual celebration

Celebrate Stockton Indigenous People Day

Stockton is one of the country’s largest Urban Native Communities in the nation. It was named America’s most diverse city in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report. To help spread awareness of this, Stockton officially designated October 11 as Stockton Indigenous People Day in 2021. This year marks the city’s second celebration of Stockton’s diversity and beauty.

Learning about our land’s rich indigenous people history helps this community be seen and appreciated and solidifies their significance to this very day. It grows a sense of pride in Native American heritage and increases the entire community’s connection with one another. As a part of a larger movement to honor and celebrate people who have been on this land since time immemorable, and to prevent and stop Indigenous people erasure, a problem that has led indigenous people to feel lost and forgotten, even in their own communities, this special holiday is an opportunity to reconnect with the past, remember Native American culture through its art, literature, and food, and to move forward together as a community.

Destiny Rivas, chair of the Stockton Native Collective and the San Joaquin Urban Native Council, shares about a heartfelt incentive on educating the community on native culture. “Among Native Americans, 40 percent of those who die by suicide are between the ages of 15 and 24,” Destiny says. “Among young adults ages 18 to 24, Native Americans have higher rates of suicide than any other ethnicity, and it is higher than the general population combined. Research shows that by building a community that acknowledges not only that Native Americans still exist but also their contributions to society, we can combat these suicide statistics.”

According to Rivas, these statistics were “a major reason behind my advocating for Stockton Indigenous Peoples Day. It could literally save a life.”

Those who want more information about Stockton Indigenous Peoples Day, and to learn how to get involved in local Native American events and annual powwows, can get in touch with the SUSD Native American Indian Center and San Joaquin Urban Native Council.

Stockton Native American Indian Center

100 W. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portable 105, Stockton
(209) 933-7040, ext. 8083