The project, "Highlighting Our Original Stewards: Designing Moments and Places of Reflection, Healing, Advocacy, and Learning" is being created to formally recognize the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (FTBMI) and other Indigenous groups that walked the lands where CSUN currently stands. The objective is to promote and increase holistic well-being practices around campus through a designed installation.
At the 2022 HHD Inaugural Research Excellence and Innovation Conference, I led a tour visiting three locations that will be commemorated through artistic and graphic installations when the project is finished. As soon as we began the tour, I gave an introduction and background in regard to the project that we are working on.
The first location we visited recognizes the North Direction representing the summer and is located at the shared garden between American Indian Studies, Chicano/a studies, and Central American Studies. This location was chosen as many events are held here with other programs that care deeply about indigenous heritage.
Second on the tour was the proposed site for a Native Plant Garden which will contain native plants that are indigenous to the FTBMI. The area is located between the University Library and Bayramian Hall.
Third, and finally for this brief tour, we visited the CSUN Botanic Garden recognizing the South Direction representing the fall. This location is home to one of the oldest Coastal Live Oak trees at CSUN. The original tree had to be removed because of damage but is regrowing, and the saplings around it still provide a meaningful connection to the tribe because it produces acorns, a staple food that is gathered during the fall season.
Due to the installations being under construction, members of the interior design team were at each location with additional information and mock-up signage to give the guests an idea of how the project will look when finalized. At the conclusion of the tour, I provided a description of two other planned installations which will honor Winter (West) and Spring (East).
The project, "Highlighting Our Original Stewards" is in development with collaboration from Drs. Mirna Sawyer (Health Sciences) and Kristin King (Family and Consumer Sciences), and Condor (Oasis Wellness Center).
Graduated F 2022, Health Sciences/Public Health;
Student Intern for Health Sciences faculty Mirna Sawyer