Including the story of how L. Frank and others helped the Oakland Museum of California completely revamp its indigenous California exhibit over several years, with guidance from a native council convened just for this purpose.
L. Frank Says
She's Not Extinct
Artist, activist, and indigenous language conservationist
L. Frank Manriquez insists that she, a California native, is not extinct. Her Tongva and Ajachmem cultures are being revitalized like so many around the state.
But the myth that the California Indian no longer exists is just one of several misconceptions concerning the native people of this region, and this documentary explores some examples: from the bogus legend of a non-existant sleeping Indian maiden to the ridiculous but widely believed trope of happy mission Indians. L. Frank works tirelessly as an activist for native peoples' rights and the preservation of their true cultures.
From reinterpreting museum exhibits and teaching grade-schoolers to documenting rare archives of cultural treasures, "L." has been at the center of the movement to re-indigenize native communities for many years. As she takes her place among respected California native elders, her unwavering dedication to promoting indigenous welfare is always tempered by -- her wicked sense of humor. "How dead do I look, anyway?" she responds when questioned if California indians are extinct.
L. Frank hosts a workshop to develop a modern approach to traditional
canoe-building at her home.
L. Frank and partner Sharon sit for an interview at the Oakland Museum of California.
Photos: Leonard Martin Hughet