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Ramos measure would require K-12 education accurately reflect historical mistreatment of Native Americans

Lawmaker’s bill is a follow up to AB 1703, the California Indian Education Act

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO—When teaching about the Spanish Mission and Gold Rush Eras, California public schools would be required to teach the true history of the impact on California Native Americans during those periods if AB 1821, is approved. Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-San Bernardino), the first California Native American elected to the legislature, introduced the measure today.  

Ramos said, “This bill builds upon my previous legislation, the California Indian Education Act, approved in 2022. For far too long California’s First People and their history have been ignored or misrepresented. Classroom instruction about the Mission and Gold Rush periods fails to include the loss of life, enslavement, starvation, illness and violence inflicted upon California Native American people during those times. These historical omissions from the curriculum are misleading.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill and get it to the Governor’s desk.”

Late last year, a poll released by the Institute of Governmental Studies showed strong support to require California schools to incorporate teaching about Native American tribes’ history and culture. An overwhelming 80% of respondents were in support of a requirement such as AB 1821.

In 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1703 – the California Indian Education Act – into  law. It encourages local educational agencies to create California Indian Education Task Forces to develop curriculum about the history and culture of tribes native or residing in their region. Although AB 1703 was a significant step toward inclusion of native voices, it stopped short of requiring the change in curriculum. AB 1821 would take that extra step.

AB 1821 is sponsored by the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians. The bill is joint authored by Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and Devon Mathis (R-Porterville). Assemblymembers Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-San Bernardino), and Luz Rivas (D-Arleta) and Senator Bob Archuelta (D-Pico Rivera) are coauthors.


Assemblymember James C. Ramos proudly represents the 45th Assembly district which includes the Cities of Fontana, Highland, Mentone, Redlands, Rialto and San Bernardino. He is the first and only California Native American serving in the state’s legislature. Ramos chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #6 on Public Safety.