Reimaging Racial Infrastructures to Support a Pan-California Tribal and Intergenerational Gathering and Performance

Tria Blu Wakpa
World Arts and Cultures/Dance
UC Los Angeles

Missionization and settler colonialism have caused significant upheaval for generations of California Native peoples by seeking to annihilate, assimilate, exclude, and/or even pit them against one another in competition for resources. In collaboration with UC faculty from five universities and California Native experts, this project directly counters the turbulence that missionization and settler colonialism have caused. It reimagines racial infrastructures by bringing together eighty elders, cultural leaders, parents, and youth from four California tribal nations—the Tongva, Chumash, Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe, and Winnemem Wintu—for a pan-California Native gathering on October 13-15, 2022. The intergenerational gathering includes private workshops closed to non-California tribal individuals,  photographed and filmed presentations and performances by California practitioners that discuss or display the traditional artforms for tribal and community-engaged research purposes, and a public performance featuring Native dance at UCLA.

Image credit: Corina Roberts and Guido Frazzini