The California Native American Heritage Commission Garners 1,000 Pre-orders for New “Protect Native Culture” Special Interest License Plate

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Special Interest Plate Program to fund programs that protect tribal cultural resources across California

Protecting Native culture is a priority for all Californians, and we invite all Californians to be inspired by this momentum and pre-order the plate” said Samantha Cypret, Special Assistant to the General Counsel at the NAHC.

The California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC), a California State commission dedicated to preserving and protecting California’s tribal cultural resources, secured 1,000 pre-orders for the “Protect Native Culture” Special Interest License Plate by November 2019, Native American Heritage Month. Proceeds from the License Plate program will fund the NAHC’s work to preserve and protect California Native American cultural resources protected under State law. The plates can be pre-ordered exclusively at https://www.ProtectNativeCulture.com.

Created by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 1976, the NAHC works to identify, catalog, and protect Native American cultural resources across California, including known burial places and places of special significance. To ensure that the NAHC has adequate resources far into the future, the Commission worked with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to develop the Protect Native Culture Special Interest License Plate. It launched on September 27, 2019 on California Native American Day.

"Protecting California’s Tribal cultural resources is always the top priority of the NAHC. Creating a new, reliable and consistent revenue stream ensures that our work will be funded for generations to come,” said NAHC Executive Secretary, Christina Snider.

Proceeds from the Protect Native Culture plate purchases and renewals will go directly to NAHC programs including:
+ Implementation of the California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (CalNAGPRA), to return the remains of ancient Native American ancestors to their tribes of origin.
+ Legal clinics and internship programs to train students on laws protecting California Native American cultural resources.
+ Training programs for California Native American tribes and government agencies on laws protecting California Native American cultural resources.
+ An NAHC Legal Defense Fund to enforce state laws protecting Native American cultural resources when the California Department of Justice cannot represent the NAHC due to a conflict of interest.
+ Land conservancy purchases to protect Native American cultural resources.

Designed by Sacramento-born filmmaker Curtis Corona, the Protect Native Culture plate celebrates the diversity of California’s Native Americans and includes several distinct features:
+ The featured image, a rattlesnake basket from the Tule River Tribe, was graciously licensed in perpetuity as a gift to the NAHC.
+ The background of the plate is a light earth tone that offsets the bold, brown color of the alphanumeric characters.
+ NAHC key mission on every plate: Protect Native Culture.

In order to honor the early commitment of these initial Protect Native Culture plate purchasers, NAHC inducted them into its Heritage Circle.

“These 1,000 plates have helped us take a big step forward to reaching DMV’s 7,500 minimum order quantity to manufacture the plate,” said Samantha Cypret, Special Assistant to the General Counsel at the NAHC. “Protecting Native culture is a priority for all Californians, and we invite all Californians to be inspired by this momentum and pre-order the plate.”

The Protect Native Culture plate can be pre-ordered by visiting https://www.protectnativeculture.com or by calling the NAHC at (916) 373-3710. Plates can be purchased or gifted for any California registered automobile, truck, motorcycle or hitch or businesses can buy them for a fleet of vehicles. The deadline for the minimum 7,500 pre-orders is November 2020.

About the NAHC:
The California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC or Commission), created in statute in 1976 (Chapter 1332, Statutes of 1976), is a nine-member body whose members are appointed by the Governor. The NAHC identifies, catalogs, and protects Native American cultural resources -- ancient places of special religious or social significance to Native Americans and known ancient graves and cemeteries of Native Americans on private and public lands in California. The NAHC is also charged with ensuring California Native American tribes’ accessibility to ancient Native American cultural resources on public lands, overseeing the treatment and disposition of inadvertently discovered Native American human remains and burial items, and administering the California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (CalNAGPRA), among many other powers and duties. Learn more at http://nahc.ca.gov/

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