Chaplains, Jobs, Training and Facilities

CDCR recruiters, spiritual leaders at Native American Day

Prison Native American spiritual leader displays animal hides and the tools made from them.
Gene Albitre, a Native American Spiritual Leader for North Kern State Prison, shows how native people used animal hides to create tools. (2018 file photo.)

CDCR recruiters and Native American spiritual leaders will staff a booth during California’s 55th annual Native American Day at the state Capitol. The September 23 event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Michael Hermann, a CDCR Native American Spiritual Leader, said his position is rewarding. He spent a year volunteering and eight years as a full-time spiritual leader at two different CDCR institutions.

“I can share what types of things we are currently doing with incarcerated Native Americans to help prepare them for reentering their communities in good ways,” said Hermann. “I can also explain what kinds of things are required and expected from a Native American Spiritual Leader at CDCR. Hopefully, we will find some that will go back to their tribes and encourage those qualified to contact us and let us help them join in our efforts to help those incarcerated.”

While the department seeks to fill correctional officer positions, recruiters at Native American Day will show there are also other careers available ranging from entry level to management.

Fast facts, courtesy of the California Native American Heritage Commission:

  • Native American Day began in California in 1939, when Governor Culbert Olson dedicated October 1 as “Indian Day.”
  • In 1968, California Tribal Leaders and Governor Ronald Reagan declared the fourth Friday of September as “California Indian Day.”
  • The “Native American Day” celebration is an official State holiday, pursuant to Assembly Bill 1953 (Baca) and signed into law by Governor Pete Wilson on September 21, 1998. Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2011 wrote a Governor’s Proclamation highlighting this momentous and important day.
  • The Native American Day Celebration has become a time honored tradition in the Native American community.

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