California Indian Conference


In the 1960s and ’70s, the only major venue through which California Indians and scholars of Native California could come together was the irregular symposia hosted by the American Indian Historical Society. These symposia were invitational and largely national in scope. In 1969 the still-thriving California Indian Education Association received non-profit status. Its annual conferences focus on curriculum and educational issues affecting American Indians in California.

With its establishment in 1985, The California Indian Conference became the first and only annual conference focused on the indigenous people of California past to present. The first conference was modeled by conference committee chair William S. Simmons on the format of the Algonquian roundtable, and had the support of the UC Berkeley Anthropology Department, Lowie Museum of Anthropology (now Hearst Museum), Linguistics Department, and Native American Studies Program. In the words of Dr. Simmons, the goal of the initial conference was "to provide a regular forum for people working in California Indian studies to share the results of their work."

While the conference has grown in size and scope over the years, it remains focused on Native Californians past to present.

Conference Archive

We are in the process of growing this website and a conference archive. If you have conference papers, documents, photographs, recordings, reminiscences, and/or other conference memorabilia that you would be willing to share, please let us know at