Close Close search drawer
Explore This Section
Nav toggle

California Indians

The First People

Initially developed under the direction of a Native Advisory Council in 2011, “California Indians: The First People” presents the unique contributions of California’s Native Peoples in their own voice. Above all, it underscores that despite centuries of oppression, California Indians remain vital, nurturing their traditions while contributing to the modern state. 

Through artifacts, original art, oral histories and an interactive language kiosk, the exhibit chronicles the histories and cultural legacies of over 100 tribes. Highlights include the Chipped Stone Bear, California’s official prehistoric artifact; baskets woven by Native artists; a fur cape owned by Ishi; and more.

Exhibit Artifacts & Oral Histories

My life’s focus has been finding and bringing back our cultural traditions.
Linda Yamane
Whatever you do, never forget your language… and never forget where you came from.
Francisco Morongo
Kika and Grandfather of Ernest Siva
California’s Journey Field Trip
In this interactive, docent-led program, students will explore the impact of immigration on early California.