Our Native American Committee Works to Create Tomorrow’s Heritage for California’s Indigenous People
November is Native American Heritage Month! This annual month-long celebration is an opportunity to come together to honor and celebrate the culture, traditions, history, and contributions of American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
While it’s important to understand the importance of our shared heritage, the SEIU Local 1000 Native American Committee (NASEIU) is working to create a better future for California’s Indigenous people today.
Eileen Boughton—a Key Data Operator at EDD/Sacramento and President of DLC 789—is the chair of NASEIU and works with a committee of nine Local 1000 members who work in Susanville, the Bay Area, Sacramento and the Central Valley. NASEIU is our newest of 10 different Human Rights Committees, having been formed just last year.
“Our key mission is to raise the employment status of Indigenous people in the State workforce,” says Eileen.
To that end, they’ve partnered with CalHR and are presenting an employment webinar on December 1 of this year. Already, 530 people have signed up to learn how to get a job with the State. Additional efforts include building a partnership with all 23 of the California State Universities to expose college students to State job opportunities and sharing events with our sister Union, SEIU 521, in the Central Valley.
“Governor Newsom signed a bill this year that reinforces what California’s workforce should look like, and that’s a focus of the NASEIU committee,” says Chair Eileen Boughton. The Committee has a presence at many Indigenous community events, and is even working with SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry to establish a national Native American Caucus in the labor movement.
The history and contributions of Indigenous People are of critical importance to the nation’s history. Unfortunately, much of it has been forgotten or overlooked.
This month, it’s important for each of us to remember the entirety of our nation’s history — including and especially the history of Native Americans, the systemic issues they still face today, and take supportive, uplifting action to right historic injustices.
About Local 1000’s Native American Committee
The SEIU Local 1000 Native American Human Rights Committee recognizes that Indigenous People continue to be marginalized. We are all Born Indigenous, regardless of our genealogy, and we commemorate our ancestors through our countenance, speech, and values. We strive to increase awareness of issues affecting our Indigenous union siblings in the workplace and the community through outreach and education, and to increase union membership, engender respect and justice, and welcome more Indigenous Americans into state service.