One hundred pounds of California coastal flowers fill the sacred land’s space. Talks of potential ceremonial housing are ongoing.
This 10-minute podcast goes over the extensive history of American Indians at Long Beach State.
After months of deliberation, the campus community has finally decided to move an iconic statue that students have walked past at Long Beach State for 51 years, in response to a growing argument that Prospector Pete may be a symbol of genocide. Adding to this change will be a campus-wide discussion to find a new mascot for the school. “In terms of finalizing a new mascot, I don’t want to give a too ambitious timeline. Change is coming soon,” said Leen Almahdi, vice president of Associated Students Inc. According to President Jane Close Conoley, a group of students, faculty, alumni and staff have come to an agreement to move the statue, formally known as the “Forty-Niner Prospector,” from the plaza outside Liberal Arts 5. Current plans suggest the statue will be relocated to a new alumni center, which is still in the early stages of development. ASI Senate passed a resolution last March to change the statue’s location. The resolution recognizes the violence that prospectors inflicted upon Indigenous peoples during the California Gold Rush and seeks to disassociate the campus from a symbol of genocide. Despite the statue’s controversy over recent years, the statue cannot be destroyed under the Visual
The Prospector Pete mascot was the topic of debate at this week’s Associated Students Inc. Senate meeting Wednesday. According to ASI senators, indigenous students have been fighting for the school to dissociate from the Gold Rush era since the ’70s and the statue has served as a painful reminder for these students and their community. In a previous Daily 49er article, American Indian Studies director Craig Stone addressed the problem indigenous students had with Prospector Pete and called him an icon for genocide. According to Stone, prospectors were behind mass killings of California Indians during the Gold Rush. “The students are constantly reminded of a traumatic past,” said Leen Almahdi, senator of health and human services. “We could get input from indigenous students and see what they really want as a mascot.” To accommodate indigenous students, ASI Senate passed a resolution for its first reading to remove the Prospector Pete statue in front of the Liberal Arts-5 building. Cal State Long Beach is built on sacred grounds once belonging to the Tongva tribe, an indigenous group who inhabited the Los Angeles Basin and the Southern Channel Islands for centuries before American colonization. During the Gold Rush era, the people of
On the walls of Liberal Arts 5, yellow posters pile up like tiles a few feet behind Prospector Pete. The famous 49er mascot, which has recently been a topic of contention among members of the campus community, was eclipsed by the colorful pieces of paper that read "I appreciate and respect you." Last Thursday, Cal State Long Beach launched a linguistic landscaping project featuring the title of the campaign written on posters in different languages. According to an email by the Provost Brian Jersky, the campaign will continue over the course of the year and will travel around campus. Viewers who capture the QR codes on their smartphones will be led to audio or video files of the speaker or signer on the poster. The campaign was devised by Craig Stone, director of the American Indian studies program, and Alexandra Jaffe, chair of the linguistics department. According to the CSULB department of linguistics website, the goal of the project is to "make all members of the community feel appreciated and respected.” The project coordinators currently serve as members of President Conoley’s Inclusive Excellence Commission, a group that aims on eliminating barriers to success and plans against systemic difficulties that affect
American Indian Studies professor Craig Stone handed four graduates an eagle feather that was blessed and sung over while a multigenerational group — featuring elder gentlemen and a young boy — beat a large drum in unison. “If you take these feathers and you pray with them, they will help you to think about the direction in your life … to know your path,” said Craig Stone, American Indian Studies program director and professor. Among the eight cultural commencement ceremonies featured on campus, the American Indian Cultural Graduation honored indigenous students and students in the program with academic regalia and drummed native folk songs in the University Student Union ballrooms on Saturday. During the event, Stone talked much about indigenous history on campus, mentioning events such as CSULB’s introduction of the American Indian studies classes and the reburial of Native American remains and artifacts on university grounds. “In 1968, ethnic studies began in the CSU system up in San Francisco, and then American Indian Studies began in Cal State Long Beach,” Stone said. He echoed the sentiments of students from Sherman Indian High who later came to Cal State Long Beach and their push for the recognition of AIS. “They