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CSULB installation honors lost lives of Native Americans

Published November 15, 2021

Dozens of small yellow flags are back on the grass near the history building. The message printed on each in the Tongva language -- “count what you value” – are meant to remind those passing by of the genocide of American Indians and the dwindling number of American Indians in California. 

The art installation, which was canceled last year because of the pandemic, is part of the events for Native American Heritage month and will be on display until Nov. 30. 

Native American yellow flags stuck in grassThere is one thing, however, missing from this year’s Blind to History installation in the plaza area – the Prospector Pete statue. The statue was removed last year and will be relocated in the soon-to-be completed Anna G. Ngai Alumni Center when it opens in 2022. 

Craig Stone, director of CSULB’s American Indian Studies program, said what is missing is just as important as what is in the plaza. 

“To all those people, its absence signals a change, that things are not the same,” Stone said. 

Another change faculty, staff and students will notice is a new mural on the side of the Faculty Offices 2 building. The digitally designed and printed mural depicts hands of different skin tones joined together in a circle. Stone called the student-produce mural an “image of unity.” 

“What we wanted this mural to say was ‘This is a place where you want to be,’” Stone said.

Stone said there are plans to redesign the space that would bring the campus and community together. Previous plans drawn up by students were scrapped when learning went remotely in 2020 because of COVID-19. 

“It’s a matter of regrouping. It’s now being discussed of where we can pick up,” he said.