Native American and soon-to-be Oscar recipient Wes Studi will be the keynote speaker September 27 during the 52nd annual California Native American Day, on the west steps of the State Capitol.
The celebration of California Native American culture begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 2 p.m. The event is open to the public, and will include presentations by members of the various California tribes along with a proclamation from Governor Gavin Newsom’s office.
CalVet Secretary Vito Imbasciani MD will introduce Studi. Undersecretary Russell Atterberry and Elizabeth Perez, CalVet’s Deputy Secretary for Minority Veterans, will also participate.
Other speakers include Kevin Day of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians; Assembly member James Ramos, representing District 40; and Christina Snider, Tribal Advisor, Office of the Governor.
Studi, a native Cherokee, enjoyed breakout performances in “Dances With Wolves” in 1990, and as Huron chief “Magua” in “The Last of the Mohicans” in 1992. He followed those with outstanding performances in “Geronimo: An American Legend” in 1993, “Avatar” in 2009 and “Hostiles” in 2017. He will receive his Academy Award during the Governor’s Awards on October 27 in Hollywood, joined by fellow honorees David Lynch, Lina Wertmüller, and actress and feminist advocate, Geena Davis.