By Hannah Wiley, Sacramento Bee, September 27, 2019
Gov. Gavin Newsom at an annual celebration of Native American culture said he wanted greater “truth telling” of California’s indigenous history and a stronger acknowledgment of the state’s genocide of native people.
The governor opened his remarks at the 52nd annual Native American Day in Sacramento by describing California’s first governor, Peter Hardeman Burnett, authorizing a “war of extermination” against the state’s indigenous population. Newsom said that history largely goes untold.
The first governor of California launched a genocidal mission in the 1850s to remove indigenous tribes from their lands and spent more than $1 million in military campaigns to do so, according to the governor’s office.
“That’s the shameful past here in the state of California,” Newsom said to a large crowd of tribe representatives. “That past is not necessarily a big part of what is recognized today. It’s not in our textbooks. The textbooks I read were about the heroism of Spanish explorers.”