2018 Native Beauty
To Native Beauty a Success!
On Saturday, May 19th, UAII held its first offsite fundraiser of 2018 at the tallest building in Los Angeles. The Intercontinental Hotel hosted To Native Beauty: An Evening of Native Performance as we welcomed over 200 attendees from all over the world.
The term To Native Beauty was chosen as a means to bring our Native and non-Native community together. Beauty can be many things other than what we see as appealing to the eye. Beauty can be both strong and brittle and really is a harmony and balance that we are seeking for ourselves and in bringing our community together.
The event featured performances by amazing local talents such as Raye Zaragoza (O’oDham), Carolina Hoyos, Suzanne Kite (Lakota), the Miracle Dolls (Hidatsa/ Kiowa), Tracy Lee Nelson (Luiseno/ Diegueno) and comedian Jim Ruel (Ojibwe). Each of these artists brought their unique voices and talent together for one night as attendees were entertained with music like jazz/ blues, pop, rock, and folk.
The event also featured a memorable offering of reconciliation and community partnership between representatives from New Zealand’s Maori and the original inhabitants of the Tongva. During a sharing of gifts; a prayer was offered to recognize the history of American Indians in Los Angeles that often goes left unheard.
The opening remarks were shared by L.A. City Council Member Mitch O’Farrell who welcomed attendees from all over the world. The council members also shared the continued efforts of the LA Community and the LA City Council to continue to change the perception of American Indians and increase awareness of American Indian issues. This includes celebrating the first ever Indigenous Peoples Day in the City of Los Angeles in 2018, which recently was replaced in the largest metropolitan city in the United States. We also welcomed various politicians, academics, partner agencies, and supporters such as the former Chairwomen of the Paiute Tribe and a representative of the Navajo Nation.
We want to thank our volunteer and staff along with our community partners at UCLA – American Indian Studies, and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association; specifically Dr. Mushuana Goamen and Dr. Shannon Speed who were instrumental in the NAISA 2018 conference and assisting us with the set-up of this fundraiser. Thank you all for your attendance and we look forward to holding another To Native Beauty event in 2019. More details soon.