Home · About · Meetings · Subcommittees · Community · Resources · Updates · Contact
California Truth & Healing Council FAQs
What is the California Truth & Healing Council?
The California Truth & Healing Council, created by Governor Newsom via Executive Order N-15-19, bears witness to, records, examines existing documentation of, and receives California Native American narratives regarding the historical relationship between the State of California and California Native Americans in order to clarify the historical record of such relationship in the spirit of truth and healing. The Council is led and convened by the Governor’s Tribal Advisor and governed by a Governing Council of California Native American leaders, and may include additional non-voting representatives from California Native American tribes, relevant state and local agencies, and other relevant non-governmental stakeholders.
The Council works with California Native American tribes to shape the overarching focus and develop the work of the Council and will endeavor to accurately represent the diversity of experience of all California Native Americans within the State of California through ongoing communication and consultation.
What does the Council do?
The California Truth & Healing Council is charged with bearing witness to, recording, examining existing documentation of, and receiving California Native American narratives regarding the historical relationship between the State of California and California Native Americans in order to clarify the historical record of such relationship in the spirit of truth and healing.
The Council must submit a final written report of findings to the Governor’s Office by 2025.
- The final report should reflect a holistic understanding of the historical relationship between California Native Americans and the State.
- The final report may also make recommendations aimed at reparation and restoration and consider how to prevent similar depredations and/or policies in the future.
Will the Council examine reparations for California Native Americans?
Yes. Pursuant to the Draft Charter, the Council may examine and make recommendations aimed at reparation and restoration and consider how to prevent similar depredations and/or policies in the future. “Reparations” in this context will be defined by the Council and the California Native community, and may include (but would not be limited to) restorative actions, statutory amendments, funding opportunities and capacity building.
What is the structure of the Council?
The Council is organized under a Charter and operates under Bylaws. The Council is led and convened by the Governor’s Tribal Advisor and governed by a Governing Council.
The Governing Council includes twelve (12) Voting Members and four (4) Alternate Voting Members, all of whom are representatives of California Native American tribes from the four regions throughout the State. The members of Governing Council are not representative of the tribes in their respective regions, but were selected to ensure diversity of opinions, viewpoints and experiences in governing the Council.
All California Native Americans are members of the Council, and public participation is welcome at all convenings of the Council. Details and materials for meetings are available at tribalaffairs.ca.gov/cthc/meetings.
Why was this structure adopted for the Council?
This structure was adopted based on tribal consultation responses and extensive review of similar international mechanisms.
- Because the Council will be the first entity of its kind in United States tasked with such an expansive and broad-based undertaking; it is critical that California tribal governments and the broader California Native American population drive the work of the Council while offering broad access—and opportunities to support and amplify the work—to all Californians.
How can I become a Non-Voting Member of the Council?
The Governing Council will work with the Tribal Advisor to appoint Non-Voting Members to the Council on a case-by-case basis. Non-Voting Members may include Native Americans and tribal representatives, representatives of state and local agencies, or relevant non-governmental stakeholders and experts.
Are members of the Council be compensated?
Members of the Governing Council are compensated with a per diem and will also have their reasonable travel expenses covered for regular meetings of the Council.
What “representatives” of California Native American tribes are included on the Governing Council?
Membership on the Governing Council is available to duly elected officials or appointed designees of California Native American tribes on the contact list maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission. This is to allow for continued participation of tribal leaders that may term out of office and still continue to have tribal support and for situations where an elder, educator or community leader may enjoy broad-based tribal support to engage in the work of the Council.
Beyond the Governing Council, California Native Americans and community leaders are welcome and encouraged to engage with the Council as Non-Voting Members and as participants.
How often will the Council convene?
The Council will convene on a quarterly basis over two days in March, June, September and December. The Council will also hold one-day hearings in the months between quarterly meetings.
What will meetings look like?
Meetings will take place over two days and will start with four hours each day with a one-hour break for lunch.
- Day One of the quarterly meetings of the Council will be a facilitated talking circle using the expertise of a culturally appropriate wellness practitioner, who will also be able to connect participants with tools to work through historical trauma and the work of the Council.
- Day Two of the quarterly meetings will be dedicated to a hearing-style presentation of historical findings, evidence, outcomes and experiences from day one, and resources as directed by the Council.
- Over the course of each quarterly meeting, a culturally appropriate wellness practitioner will provide participants with tools to process and heal from ongoing and historical trauma.
Council Staff will also provide local resources for self-study and reflection in each of the locations where a meeting or hearing is held.
The Council is charged with performing its work with transparency, inclusion and respect for all experiences, viewpoints and backgrounds. The Council encourages all available methods for public participation.
- To provide and preserve public access to the primary materials for the final report and appendices, the Council will livestream, record, and transcribe meetings, and it will audio record and transcribe consultations. All materials will be available on the website of the Governor’s Tribal Advisor.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Council meetings currently take place virtually and are live-streamed until conditions allow for in-person participation. These meetings are recorded and made available on the Tribal Advisor’s website.
- Once COVID-19 conditions alleviate, the Council will rotate its meeting locations in the four geographical areas throughout the State.
How can I get involved or support this work if I am not a Governing Member of the Council?
The Council welcomes and encourages all available methods of participation. In general, all participants are able, amongst other things, to:
- Attend and observe all meetings of the Council, with the exception of any closed session proceedings;
- Submit written statements to the Council;
- Make oral statements and testimony to the Council;
- Participate in interactive dialogues, panel discussions and informal meetings; and
- Organize and host “affiliate events” on issues relevant to the work of the Council.
In addition, the Governing Council may convene subcommittees to look at discrete areas of work, which are generally open to all participants.
California Native American tribes: If you are a California Native American tribe, the Tribal Advisor will arrange for a time to consult with your tribe before January 1, 2024 to record, gather existing documentation of, and receive narratives regarding the historical relationship between the State of California and California Native Americans. Please our office at email@example.com to request consultation.
- While the Tribal Advisor will endeavor to meet California Native American tribes in the locations of their preference, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, consultations will take place virtually until conditions allow for in-person meetings.
California Native Americans: The Council welcomes and encourages the participation of all California Native Americans, regardless of enrollment status. The historical depredations under examination of the Council are part of the collective experience of peoples of California Native American descent and their impacts are not limited to citizenship status. California Native Americans may submit documentation, testimonials and/or information to firstname.lastname@example.org and may reach out to that email to set up a meeting with the Office of the Tribal Advisor. California Native Americans may also fully participate in and submit documentation, testimonials and/or information during the quarterly meetings of the Council.
Academic Parterships: Researchers, scholars and educators are encouraged to participate in the work of the Council, whether as Non-Voting Members or in a non-member supportive capacity. Members of Academia may also submit research, documentation, testimonials and/or information to email@example.com and may reach out to that email to set up a meeting with the Office of the Tribal Advisor. Members of Academia may also fully participate in and submit documentation, testimonials and/or information during the quarterly meetings of the Council.
Non-Governmental Organizations: The Council encourages involvement of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that could be helpful in providing support services, researching or amplifying the work of the Council. NGOs can host affiliate events, which may be publicized by the Council, in conjunction with quarterly meetings of the Council. NGOs may submit documentation, testimonials and/or information to firstname.lastname@example.org and may reach out to that email to set up a meeting with the Office of the Tribal Advisor. NGOs may also fully participate in and submit documentation, testimonials and/or information during the quarterly meetings of the Council.
Partnerships. The Council welcomes partnerships from organizations, agencies and individuals who can provide services related to the mission of the Council, including but not limited to:
- Research and scholarship;
- Documentary filmmaking;
- Emotional, community, and behavioral support; and
- Media and communications.
Donations, Grants & Sponsorship. The Council is able to accept direct donations to support its work, but also welcomes grant opportunities and third-party sponsorship of any of the above opportunities for partnership. To discuss donations, grants or sponsorship of services, please contact the Office of the Tribal Advisor at email@example.com.