As an anthropologist, I'm not accustomed to thinking in terms of "firsts." But I was asked by the members of the staff at Madden Library at California State University, Fresno, to compile a list for San Joaquin County as part of an exhibition on "firsts" in the greater San Joaquin Valley.
Bidwell-Bartleson party member Charles M. . . . → Read More: Some San Joaquin County “Firsts”
Jedediah Strong Smith (1799–1831) and about fifteen trappers with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company entered California in November 1826. They were hoping to "find parts of the country as well stocked with Beaver as the waters of the Missouri." Smith and his party had crossed the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains (a route later . . . → Read More: The Origins of French Camp, California
Nudity certainly has its place. I honestly can't imagine showering in my clothes. But why anybody would want to walk around au natural in the middle of a densely populated city escapes me. Especially in cold weather, for crying out loud! And in San Francisco! What about the fog, clouds, and rain? Simply thinking about the . . . → Read More: Chilling Out in Northern California
Do you know which federally recognized tribe has its headquarters in San Joaquin County? If you answered the California Valley Miwok Tribe, you were correct. I bet most of you didn't answer correctly….
Elders and officers of the California Valley Miwok Tribe present tribal flag to Robin Wood and David Stuart (both on right) of the . . . → Read More: Rediscovering California’s Native Americans
There are two remaining stereotypes that I’d like to address. First, that the Indians from San Joaquin County area were nothing special.
It is remarkable enough that the ancestors of the Native people from what is now San Joaquin County settled this area perhaps thirteen thousand years ago and developed lifeways suited to a new and changing . . . → Read More: Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 3
American educators and the mainstream media have depicted the Native peoples of California—especially in the Central Valley—as passive, weak, and disinclined to defend their homelands. Americans tend to put the warrior Indians of the Great Plains on a pedestal, even though their cultures developed after Europeans reintroduced the horse to the New World. California Indians had . . . → Read More: Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 2
”I encourage students to pursue an idea far enough so they can see what the…stereotypes are. Only then do they begin to hit pay dirt.” (Robert Morgan)
I began my career as a seasonal worker at Caswell Memorial State Park, in southern San Joaquin County. Preparing for campfire programs, I soon realized that what I had been . . . → Read More: Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 1