As California honors Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the third year in a row, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced a partnership between the California Truth & Healing Council and the Decolonizing Wealth Project to support philanthropic and community engagement, grantmaking and narrative change.
Through this partnership, the Office of the Tribal Advisor and the Truth & Healing Council will work directly with the Decolonizing Wealth Project—an organization that strives to promote community healing and narrative change through education, philanthropy and storytelling—to convene philanthropic ambassadors for the work of the Truth & Healing Council, develop a grantmaking program and galvanize philanthropy broadly to support the recommendations from the Council’s final report, among other activities.
“As we honor the perseverance, rich diversity and contributions of all Indigenous peoples today, California is advancing our commitment to collaborating with tribal communities throughout the state to make real the promise of a California for all,” said Governor Newsom, who today issued a proclamation declaring Indigenous Peoples’ Day. “This new partnership will expand the Administration’s efforts to engage Native American families in the important dialogue created by the Truth & Healing Council, helping to build bridges and begin healing deep wounds.”
The California Truth & Healing Council was established by the Governor in 2019 to provide an avenue for California Native Americans to clarify the record—and provide their diverse experiences, histories and perspectives—on the troubled relationship between Native peoples and the State in the spirit of truth and healing. The Council is led and convened by the Governor’s Tribal Advisor and includes representatives from California Native American tribes throughout the state. The Council officially launched in December 2020 and is slated to issue a final report on or before January 1, 2025.
“The Truth & Healing Council is pleased to partner with Decolonizing Wealth Project on this difficult journey,” said Council Member Frankie Myers, who serves as Vice Chairman for the Yurok Tribe. “California Native peoples have not forgotten the true history of the State of California, and we hope that our reexamination of the historical record is the first of many steps towards restoring the balance between California indigenous people and the State. Through philanthropy, and the healing tools it will empower us to provide, we are excited to advocate for real change through reparative justice.”
With a goal to develop civic infrastructure within California’s Native American community, this partnership will also support the engagement of Native American families across the state to participate in the Council’s meetings, talking circles, listening sessions, and other general activities. The Decolonizing Wealth Project will leverage its expertise in community healing to ensure Native American families, and other participants involved, have access to culturally competent healing opportunities and other tools as they navigate this process. Ultimately, this partnership aims to catalyze deeper community engagement in truth and healing conversations and build political will for truth and healing work in other states and at the national level.
“Decolonizing Wealth Project is excited to amplify the work of the Council and California’s Native American tribal leaders,” said Edgar Villanueva, principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project and a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. “By helping to raise awareness among Californians and the philanthropic community to advocate for truth and reconciliation, it is our hope that the reparative efforts being put forth by the Council will one day be replicated on a national level. Especially on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we as a nation can only get to a state of reconciliation when we are able to reflect on and acknowledge America’s history of oppression and erasure of Indigenous communities.”
Visit https://tribalaffairs.ca.gov/cthc/help/ to learn more about ways community members from both within and outside of California can support the Council.