The Yawáyro: Indigenous Awareness and Literacy Development program offers book kits that recognize Native American heritage and culture, including that of the Tataviam tribe, which has roots here in Santa Clarita. Courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita Public Library to celebrate indigenous awareness

To celebrate its launch, the Santa Clarita Public Library has scheduled an event for the Yawáyro: Indigenous Awareness and Literacy Development program Tuesday, Nov. 5. 

The event is set to start at 6 p.m. at the Old Town Newhall Library, with stories from Tataviam and Chumash Elder Dennis Garcia who will discuss his heritage and perform traditional dances and songs, according to a news release from the city of Santa Clarita. 

The program consists of book kits that include stories recognizing Native American heritage and culture, including that of the Tataviam tribe, which has roots in the Santa Clarita Valley. All three library branches and local Tataviam tribal offices will share the book kits, which aim to promote literacy and celebrate the local area’s diversity, said the city. 

Yawáyro, meaning awareness, is a joint collaboration between the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians and the library. After applying for the Talk Story Grant from the American Indian Library Association and the Asian Pacific Americans Library Association, the library was selected to receive funding to curate a selection of books that center on indigenous cultural awareness, according to the city.  

The grant will now allow the library to provide the local community with books and accompanying discussion questions that highlight California Indian, Native American, Alaska Native and Indigenous Western Hemisphere cultures.  

To learn more about the program, contact Senior Children’s Librarian David Janning at 661-799-6158 or [email protected]   

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