Explore Indian Country: 5 Things to do in California this Summer



California’s Native communities share a rich, vibrant history, unlike any other state. Scheduling a visit to one of these Native destinations is a great way to experience new adventures and share your stories. Here is our list of things to check out in California this month for all things Native!

37th Annual Big Time Festival

California style pow wows are the social event of the season, enough said. The 35th annual Big Times Festival is a traditional Native American trade festival at KuleLoklo, a Coast Miwok Cultural Exhibit. Mark your calendar for July 15th. Visitors are welcome and it is recommended for you to bring a picnic. Trade shows, traditional demonstrations, dancing, fun, and laughs are guaranteed. What is better than local tribes sharing their culture? Not much, that’s for sure.

Intertribal Friendship House

Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook

A self-designated Urban Rez, the Intertribal Friendship House is a local destination for Natives in Oakland. Each day is packed with activities and there are many opportunities to take fun classes. Classes vary from traditional activities to fitness. While you are there make sure to check out their community garden. Don’t forget to look over the events calendar page on their website; they’re set to have powwows almost every other week throughout the summer season!

Chaw’se Big Time Indian Celebration

Another area of significance to the local Native community. Chaw’se which means “grinding rock” is located in Pine Grove. It is where their ancestors would go to grind up acorns and other seeds into meal. As a state park, Chaw’se is only one of two places with decorative petroglyphs in its bedrock and mortars. Chaw’se Regional Indian Museum is also located at the park and features a bookstore. And Fyi, Chaw’se Big Time is (and always is) the 4th weekend of September. Tell all your friends.


Indian Canyon Storytelling

Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook

Indian Canyon is a place of solace for Natives to pray, sweat and participate in ceremony. Visitors are welcome to this special area during the annual Storytelling Gathering on the second weekend of July. Other events featured are the historic prayer run and a benefit concert. Adults and students are asked to pay a donation and tickets are available on Eventbrite.

The Agua Caliente Trifecta

What list would be complete without a casino? The Agua Caliente Casino, Resort, & Spa offers a lot of fast-paced fun. Or if you would like to something at a different pace there is always the Indian Canyon Golf Resort. Families are sure to enjoy the tribe’s cultural museum. What you learn may surprise you. Plenty of opportunities for relaxation and entertainment here.

Where are your favorite places to experience Native culture in California? We’d love to hear! Tell us in the comments below!