San Diego County tribes observe Indigenous Peoples Day
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Today is indigenous peoples day. And last week, president Biden became the first us president to recognize the holiday and issued a proclamation, which said in part today we recognize indigenous people's resilience and strength, as well as the measurable, positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society. Joining me to talk this indigenous people's day is Bo Massetti chairman of the rim Khan band of Louis angel Indians chairman. Massetti welcome
Speaker 2: (00:32)
Speaker 1: (00:33)
So what are your thoughts on president Biden being the first president to recognize indigenous people's day
Speaker 2: (00:40)
We're humbled and grateful or any people in general to finally be recognized a little more, our people will say Daniel people have been an art. They're a Dory for more than 10,000 years recognition of our existence as what has been lacking throughout history. So as things change, we're not saying to do away with history, but let's get history correct, and include the new people in our history. So there's a major step forward to recognizing the people throughout the nation. Uh, in San Diego county, for example, we have, uh, 18 independent, uh, federal recognized tribal governments, more than any other county in the United States. There's just more recognition and we appreciate appreciate it.
Speaker 1: (01:34)
Despite that recognition by the president Columbus day is still a nationally recognized holiday. Do you think that should be reexamined?
Speaker 2: (01:42)
I think history needs to not necessarily be erased, but be clarified. A lot of things. A lot of people were left out of history. That's what needs to be corrected. Let's tell the accurate history.
Speaker 1: (01:58)
Can you talk about indigenous people's day and, and what it means for you and your tribe?
Speaker 2: (02:03)
Well, for us, an art people and San Diego county drive well throughout the state, all of our drives at beans, a time to come together, to look at ourselves, to look what we're doing for ourselves and the surrounding communities. How are we good neighbors? So it opens up a lot of things and it opens up a lot of interaction with our other tribes throughout the state that recognition, you know, says, okay, let's look at it. What are we doing? Let's also be involved with the history. Let's tell it correctly.
Speaker 1: (02:32)
Governor Gavin Newsome signed assembly, bill 1 0 1 into law requiring California high school students to take ethnic studies to graduate. How important is that to educating students on the history, resilience and contributions of indigenous people,
Speaker 2: (02:48)
Extremely unimportant. If you go through the textbook and you people in general are left out, not mentioned. So what we're looking at now is correcting history. Tell the contributions, tell about the, what we say indigenous. Well, we are the indigenous people of the United States. We were here before anyone else, uh, that's skimmed over in history, but you'll have to look at all the contributions of the tribes throughout the nation and provided, for example, a lot of the constitution, uh, that we have today, they look at the Cherokee and other tribes that were well advanced in terms of having constitution and structure. Most people don't know that
Speaker 1: (03:32)
As you mentioned, San Diego county is home to more federally recognized tribes than any other county in the U S home to 18 and all, uh, what would you like San Diego to know about our local tribes and on this indigenous people's day,
Speaker 2: (03:47)
Hold on local drag. Like I said earlier, it been in the area in our excellent areas that we're in now in excess of 10,000 years also would like folks to understand all of the contributions that our local tribe provide back to our surrounding communities. You know, from, from law enforcement, from firefighting, uh, again, to no cost to our neighbors, what the tribes are actually doing for the surrounding community. It needs to be, uh, put out there more and understood.
Speaker 1: (04:17)
What are the top issues you would say our local tribes have in common.
Speaker 2: (04:21)
I think all tribes used to have a major issue with survival, make it simple. You know, Della, California, people authorized gaming to be operated on Indian, better recognized Indian land. Uh, all the tribes were in poverty. So by having that opportunity to have gaming, it brought us out of poverty. It brought us to where we can afford education for our kids. We can afford good healthcare. And we thank the taxpayers for giving us that opportunity and giving us that helping hand we in turn have extended a handout for surrounding communities.
Speaker 1: (05:00)
And now you grew up on the reservation. I believe your father was in tribal leadership like you are today. How has your reservation changed since your childhood?
Speaker 2: (05:10)
So it's a complete change we can afford to pay our electricity. So we have water when I was growing up. Sometimes take like Kristi to run the Wells for water. Uh, sometimes we couldn't afford to pay the bills. We wouldn't have water. Sometimes we had were without water for two or three weeks at a time as the tribes have evolved one, we'd definitely get afforded electrical bills down. Number two is we get more attention paid to our needs than we used to. You know, you got to understand tradition has been, you'd take the tribes and upstate, if you'll notice where their reservations are, some of the worst land and the whole surrounding area. And that was the idea. You'd take the image, put them out there as far away from white settlements as possible. That's the way the renovations were put together. The attitude in a schools have changed and used to be when I was going to school, you know, the kids are going to quit. Anything else away, put a bunch of time in with them and that's what happened. But that attitude has changed. And we can, like I say, now afford to help her kids go to college and pursue different types of trades. If they prefer not to go to college, learn a good trade.
Speaker 1: (06:19)
So how will you be observing indigenous people's day?
Speaker 2: (06:24)
Each tribe has a different way. They're going to recognize this state ourselves, or we're going to get together later on and have a little celebration. Talk about some of the culture, try to get some youth involved. So they learn. We need to pass this down. Like it was passed down to us. That integration is important to share.
Speaker 1: (06:44)
I've been speaking with Bome Ozetty chairman of the Ren con band of Louis [inaudible] Indians chairman Mazetta as always thank you very much for joining us.
On Friday, President Biden became the first U.S. President to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day, which is being observed across the country Monday. San Diego County, home to more federally recognized tribes than any other county in the nation, is observing the holiday in ceremonies across the region.
The chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, Bo Mazzetti, joined Midday Edition to talk about Indigenous Peoples Day and what the President's proclamation means to local tribes.
"This is a major step forward to recognizing the Indian people throughout the nation," Mazzetti said.
"Recognition of our existence is what has been lacking throughout history," Mazzetti said. "So as things change, we're not saying to do away with history, but let's get history correct and include the Indian people in our history."