SAN BERNARDINO— Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) and Presiding Judge R. Glenn Yabuno of the San Bernardino Superior Court today commemorated the first ever paid California Native American Day holiday extended to staff of a state entity – court personnel. This year the holiday falls on Friday, September 23.
Ramos successfully introduced AB 855 in 2021 to permit court personnel to switch Columbus Day for California Native American Day. The Judicial Council sponsored the bill.
The lawmaker, a member of the Serrano/Cahuilla tribe, is the first California Native American lawmaker elected in the state’s 172-year history. He has labored to enact a California Native American Day since 1998.
“I was a San Manuel tribal council member when I started working toward this goal with then-Assemblymember Joe Baca Sr. This is one more step forward in recognizing and increasing knowledge about the diverse history, culture and contributions of California’s Native Americans as well as their painful past,” Ramos said. He added that the state has the greatest number of Native Americans in the country and more than 100 tribes. “It is fitting that we begin to expand our commemoration of this holiday,” he noted.
Judiciary personnel holidays are set in the Code of Civil Procedure and a change required legislation. Other state staff are covered in the Government Code. AB 855 amended the Code of Civil Procedure to recognize California Native American Day as a judicial holiday to provide proper recognition for the state’s First People. It does not create an additional paid holiday for court personnel because Columbus Day was exchanged for another state holiday, California Native American Day, celebrated on the fourth Friday in September.
Yabuno said, “We are excited to celebrate and honor the historic and cultural contributions by California Native Americans on Friday, September 23, 2022. Courts across California will recognize Native American Day as a judicial holiday beginning this year.”
Ramos stated, “Our state Judicial Council brought the idea for this bill forward, and I thank them for their example of inclusiveness as well as the support of the legislature and governor last year.”
AB 855 was supported by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, California Tribal Business Alliance and the Nashville-Enterprise Miwok-Maidu-Nishinam Tribal Council.
Assemblymember James C. Ramos proudly represents the 40th Assembly district which includes Highland, Loma Linda, Mentone, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, and San Bernardino. He is the first and only California Native American serving in the state’s legislature. He chairs the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.