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November 10th - December 23rd 2023


There are currently 574 federally recognized Native Nations within what is now referred to as the United States. Additionally, eighteen states officially acknowledge an additional 82 nations. Among these federally recognized Sovereign Native nations, 109 have deep-rooted connections to California, a region they've called home for countless millennia. It is estimated that before Western contact, over eighteen million Native individuals inhabited what is now the United States.

However, by the turn of the twentieth century, the Native population had drastically dwindled, with less than 200,000 Native people across the United States, and a mere 25,000 in California. To put this in perspective, Pomona's current population stands at 151,000. The Native population decline can be attributed to settler colonialism, armed conflicts, diseases, land dispossession, removal policies, and state-sanctioned genocide. The history is one marked by relentless attempts to erase Native culture through policies such as removals, incarceration, boarding schools, religious persecution, slavery, indentured servitude, assimilation, reorganization, paternalism, and termination. Despite these challenges, Native Nations persist in defending their sovereignty, with their population experiencing a resurgence, and their diverse and resilient cultures persevering.

According to the most recent US Census, there are now 9.7 million individuals in the United States who identify as Native Americans. Of this population, 49% exclusively identify as American Indian or Alaska Native, while 51% identify as Native American/Alaska Native in combination with one or more other racial backgrounds. Notably, California boasts the largest Native population of any state in the US, totaling 1.4 million. San Diego County, in close proximity, houses more reservations (18) within its borders than any other state in the country. California's linguistic diversity shines through with over 100 distinct Native languages spoken, making it the most linguistically diverse area in North America.

The exhibit "Sustained Resilience" serves as a celebration of Native resistance and cultural resilience. The showcased artists provide but a glimpse into the vast tapestry of Native America. They were selected for their ability to bridge cultural traditions with contemporary innovation, reflecting an unbroken connection to their cultural heritage while embracing bold, contemporary forms. This movement is not a linear departure from history; rather, it is a cyclical journey that maintains continuous ties with Native roots. "Sustained Resilience" embodies this enduring spirit.

Dr. Eric Tippeconnic (Comanche Nation)

    300 South Thomas Street
Pomona, CA 91766
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