We are thrilled to be hosting Native American Motivation Day this Friday, April 20th with our partners at Mendocino College. It is the 32nd annual event, which is geared towards 6th to 12th grade students, and will take place at the Ukiah Campus in the Center of Visual Preforming Arts Theatre with breakouts taking place in the Plaza and classrooms.

The keynote speaker, Stanley Rodriguez, is from the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel. He is a legislator for the Santa Ysabel Tribal Government, a member of the Board of Directors of Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, and a U.S. Navy Desert Storm Veteran with nine years of service. He is dedicated to educating indigenous communities about Kumeyaay history, culture, and language. He is helping to revitalize the Kumeyaay language and culture by giving students the knowledge to carry on their Kumeyaay traditions. He is a renowned Kumeyaay Bird Singer, Wildcat song singer, Yuman song singer, and can-rattle player who received the Caesar Chavez Social Justice Award for Cultural Preservation, a PBS honor as the American Indian Heritage Month Local Hero, and an Emmy Award for Best Documentary.

Highlighting the spirit of Native American Motivation Day, the men and women of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Tribe are proud to encourage young people to envision a path toward self-discovery. It cannot be overstated how important it is to ensure the next generation hones the intrinsic reward that comes from lifelong learning. It is an investment in the longevity of our community that will bring returns many times over.

We pay a debt of gratitude to our rich past by preserving it – and by embodying its lessons in the hard-earned freedom expressed in our everyday lives. Our very founding in 1878 came from motivation expressed through the self-determination of extant tribes facing threats from all sides. Our renewed strength motivated the improvement of conditions within and outside of our community. Thanks to economic development, we’ve been able to act as a support system for our most disadvantaged members, providing care for our Pomo family. In addition, we’ve been able to spearhead initiatives to improve the lives of our close neighbors as well, making Upper Lake Pomo not only a source of strength for the Pomo people, but for the Upper Lake and Lake County region as a whole.

On this Native American Motivation Day, we are offering a vision of the future for our children that is even stronger than the opportunities we inherited. We hope to serve as an inspiration to our people everywhere, a living, breathing example that Native American culture can remain true to its roots even as we navigate an increasingly complex world. That’s why we encourage the friends and family of the Habematolel Pomo tribe and beyond to attend this free event.

Join us – and our partners at Mendocino College – on Friday, April 20th, 2018 to expand the horizons for every family in our community. Discovering new educational opportunities will bring renewal. With your presence, the 32nd annual Native American Motivation Day is sure to be a great success, and we look forward to seeing you there as we build on a legacy of progress for years to come. Let’s get motivated!