Each November is recognized as the National American Indian Heritage month. This year, the Department of Transportation, located at 1976 E. Charter Way/1976 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., is having three different sessions to celebrate on November 7th, 14th and 28th. The California Valley Miwok Tribe was invited to speak at the November 14th session held at the Department of Transportation in Stockton, CA, which was open to Caltrans personnel and the general public. Tribal Cultural Director and Elder Mildred Burley offered traditional prayer upon the opening of the event. Guest speaker Silvia Burley of the California Valley Miwok Tribe spoke of Native American experiences past and present and of her fellow tribal members’ hopes for the future. She also went into fine detail on Native American customs and tradition and connected with those in attendance with her personal feelings expressed through poetry and flute playing.
This event was put on by District 10 in honor of Native American Month as a venue for representatives of Native peoples to educate members of Caltrans and the general public on the history of the Native Americans of California, their current challenges and hopes for the future; working in conjunction with Federal, State, County and local communities in building a better understanding of achieving mutual goals and working towards shared future successes for the betterment of all Californians. We would like to thank Kome Ajise, the District 10 Director for sponsoring this event and representatives – Celia Garcia, Kathleen McClaflin, Jacqueline Wait and Mary Oliva – from District 10’s various departments whom organized it and made this event possible. The Tribe would like to thank Caltrans for the invitation to attend the event and felt that the experience had been mutually educational and informative. For for information about this event and the Caltrans District 10 office, please visit their official website.