Indian Heritage Center, Finally

According to this article in the Sacramento Bee, major funds are, possibly, finally available for this wonderful project we have been advocating for since 2005.

It was initially designed to be on the historic Indian village location in the North Sacramento area of the Parkway, but other parkway organizations and the city and county shortsightedly fought it, so West Sacramento wisely took it over.

An excerpt from the Bee article.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s final budget proposal includes an eye-popping surprise for California’s Native American tribes.

It sets aside $100 million to begin building a California Indian Heritage Center on a 43-acre riverfront campus in West Sacramento.

Native American and city leaders who’ve advocated for the project for more than a decade did not know the money was in the budget that Brown released on Friday.

It came as a shock and I went, ‘Oh, thank you, Lord,’” said Reba Fuller of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians. She’s been on the project’s board of directors since 2007.

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon also did not know Brown planned to boost the project. The Legislature must approve the spending for the project to begin, but its inclusion in Brown’s proposal is a good sign.

“It’s a welcome surprise,” he said. “This is a project that we’ve been working on for quite some time and the objective has never changed: To create a center that is worthy of Native American heritage in this state.”

The Indian Heritage Center is intended to replace the State Indian Museum at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park in Sacramento. It would be managed by the Parks and Recreation Department in collaboration with tribal representatives.

The new facility is expected to cost about $200 million with tribes raising money to fund the other half of the project. It’ll sit on land at the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers in West Sacramento.

The main access to the site would be Marina Way off of Lighthouse Drive. West Sacramento donated the land for the project in 2007.

“This obviously is a leap to the finish line,” Cabaldon said. “The plan for the center involves several phases, so a good deal of it could be under construction and complete with $100 million.”

Brown and the state’s Native American tribes have been allies in his second run as governor. Tribes have donated to his political campaigns and contributed more than $1 million to charities for which he solicits funds — two charter schools in Oakland, according to state records.

Retrieved May 12, 2018 from

We blogged about it several times during 2005 and 2007, which you can read here:

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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