Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
SAN MANUEL INDIAN RESERVATION The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, hosted a delegation of officials from the Republic of China on August 30, with assistance from the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission.
The event was an opportunity for cultural exchange between the American Indians and Chinese paid the San Manuel Indian Reservation, about 65 miles east of Los Angeles, a visit to gain a better understanding and appreciation of American Indian culture.
“It was a good exchange between our Tribe and the Chinese delegation. We learned there are 55 different ethnic groups in China. They were interested in how the United States deals with us,”
commented Executive Director Jacob Coin, Office of Public Affairs, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
“We were able to relay to the delegation that American Indians are NOT considered a racial group, but rather a political class of people. So Indians are neither an ethnic minority nor a racial group. but enjoy a unique place in this country as a political group.”
“It was a real eye opener for them.”
During the cultural exchange, tribal officials provided an overview of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, as well as general American Indian history, especially of tribes located in California.
The meeting took place in the Tribal Council chambers with the Chinese delegation that included interpreters.
“We are proud to host and coordinate these visitors such as the Chinese with the Indian community and Tribal leaders,”
commented Ron Andrade, executive director, Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission to the Native News Network.
"We are fortunate that we can have a role in helping foreign leaders meet with Tribal leaders. When we helped coordinate the visit of the Brazilian delegation, the delegation included leaders from FUNAI which is the largest group representing the Indians of Brazil. We never know what may happen as a result of these meetings but we feel fortunate to help our tribal nation leaders meet with leaders of other foreign nations on an equal basis."
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission hosted other foreign countries with other local tribes located in southern California. Among the countries who sent delegations are: Brazil, Algeria, Iraq, Mauritania, Morocco, and Yemen.
In the past, the Commission has hosted foreign visitors from Indonesia, Chile and France.
updated 5:05 pm edt; posted September 12, 2013 8:30 am edt