An American Indian event on campus recently showcased former and current students and their accomplishments to crowds of students and staff.
On Sept. 25, the American Indian Studies department held its annual California Indian Days event with a special theme, Moving Back, Looking Forward.
Seth San Juan, the professor who organized this year’s event, said he chose the theme as an ode to Indian students who have graduated from Palomar College and moved on to great things.
“We wanted to have generations of students … We want to show that we have a relationship with the community, that our students can succeed and do great things for the community,” San Juan said.
The panel included Palomar alumnus Theresa Gregor, Dan Calac, Mary Jo Reed, Gene Dixon and Aliassa Shane, a current student, rounded out the panel.
Reed, a Rincon tribal member who works at the Escondido campus, was honored to have been chosen for the panel.
“I thought it was cool to see all the former students who came from here,” Reed said.
The school has hosted California Indian Days for many years, according to San Juan, though they are not alone in the event. Many schools host similar events.
“It’s mainly to inform the general public about California Indians and what they do to contribute to the community,” San Juan said.
In 1968, former California Gov. Ronald Reagan signed a resolution calling for a holiday to celebrate American Indians. The holiday, appropriately titled American Indian Day was made an official state holiday in 1998, when the California Assembly passed AB 1953.