The Native Voices Poetry Festival, an annual celebration of Native American poetry, music and art, will take place Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center in Banning.
The free event – featuring writing and art workshops for all ages, as well as performances and cultural displays – will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the center, 127 N. San Gorgonio Ave. This year the festival will be celebrating San Jacinto Peak or Aya Kaich.
The Native Voices Poetry Festival is organized by Juan Delgado (Cal State San Bernardino professor of English), Ernest and June Siva, and Carolyn Horsman. CSUSB’s Public History Program and the CSUSB Department of English is partnering with the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center to make the event possible.
Highlights of the festival include:

  • Gordon Johnson, a Cahuilla/Cupeño from Pala Reservation in San Diego County, and author of “Bird Songs Don't Lie: Writings from the Rez,” will present new creative work at the festival.
  • Kat High, a Native American storyteller and ethnobotanist who’s participated in KCET’s acclaimed series, “Tending the Wild,” will share samplings of delicious foods from native plants that she calls “spring tastes.” And she’ll tell some traditional Native American stories.
  • Isabella Madrigal (Cahuilla-Chippewa) and her family, who have won national acclaim for the play, “Menil and Her Heart,” will lead a creative workshop that you won’t want to miss. They also will perform.
  • Ernest Siva, Cahuilla and Serrano elder and the center’s leader, will share songs and stories.
  • Ernest Siva and Carolyn Horsman also will share Serrano readings from Dorothy Ramon.
  • And there will be bird singing and dancing.

Along with Cal State San Bernardino, partners with the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center for the Native Voices Poetry Festival include the Malki Museum, Heyday Books and News From Native California, Morongo School, Morongo Cultural Heritage Department, Rivers and Lands Conservancy, Banning Unified School District Indian Education Program and the Dragonfly Wind Flute Ensemble.
For more information, visit the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center blog or call (951) 849-7736


Annual Native Voices Poetry Festival set for Feb. 8 at Dorothy Ramon Learning Center in Banning