Four members of the Shasta County Indigenous Peoples’ History Day committee have been invited to hold a panel discussion about their Undamming History play at the first-ever Native Truth and Healing: California Genocide Conference in San Diego this weekend.

Undamming History is an original community theater production that melds re-enactments of massacres that occurred in Shasta County during the Gold Rush-era with fictional scenes of Native American students trying to navigate whitewashed and Euro-center public school social studies curricula.

Produced with the help of many volunteers and community partners, Undamming History was performed in 2016 to a full house at the Cascade Theater, and a readers’ theater version has since been used effectively as a cultural competency training. The play is being highlighted at the conference as a possible tool communities can use to fight genocide denial and advocate for accurate and inclusive depictions of California history, especially in public school classrooms.

The committee members presenting at the conference include:

* Jack Potter (Wintu/Miwok), Redding Rancheria chairman – performer and script co-writer
* Kenwa Kravitz (Wintu/Pit River), traditional dancer and Wintu/Pit River advocate – performer and script co-writer
* Barbara Wolfin (Ilmawi Pit River), Pit River Tribal employee –  performer and script co-writer
* Marc Dadigan, UC Davis Doctoral Student and freelance journalist – script editor

Even though a growing body of historical scholarship confirms what California Indigenous people have long said – the state-sponsored violent campaign to exterminate California Indigenous people from 1846 to 1873 constitutes a genocide – public school curricula, museums, monuments and other historical texts continue to deny the genocide and perpetuate a pioneer mythology about the founding of California and Shasta County.

The Native Truth and Healing conference at San Diego State University will consist of four days of presentations, music, documentary films, and political action sessions offer attendees a chance to enhance knowledge of the California genocide and Indigenous peoples’ history. Participants are invited to come together with the community to share ideas for resolutions that will be sent to state officials at the end of the conference.

The Shasta County Indigenous Peoples’ History Day committee was created in 2015 with the mission to promote an accurate and inclusive history of the region while promoting truth and reconciliation. The committee held its four annual event this October in downtown Redding, which included a street fair, theatrical skits that addressed historical misconceptions and a film festival.

For more information about the conference, visit https://www.sdsu.edu/conferences/native-truth-and-healing.

To see a version of the original script, complete with research citations, click here.