Dorothy Ramon Learning Center

Native Southern California arts and cultures

The Dorothy Ramon Learning Center is dedicated to the documentation and sharing of Southern California’s First Peoples’ cultures, languages, history, music, and other traditional arts. The Center offers cultural activities and programs, supports research, preservation, and documentation with scholarly and accurate multimedia through its Ushkana Press publications; works in partnerships with tribal communities, schools, museums, and other institutions, serving anyone interested in learning and joins with Tribal members to restore and revive cultures, respecting the past, and understanding traditional knowledge and values in the present, to ensure a healthy future.

Dorothy Ramon was an elder knowledgeable in traditional ways and recognized as the last pure speaker of the Serrano language, that is, the last person who thought and dreamed in Serrano first, before English. In her final years before her passing in 2002, she worked tirelessly with a linguist and helped save the region’s own Serrano language and much cultural knowledge. Her nephew, Ernest H. Siva, formed the Learning Center to carry on and expand her work to include all Indian nations of Southern California. Dorothy Ramon symbolizes those Indian elders, brought up knowing their languages and cultures, who are willing to share this knowledge.  About Dorothy Ramon.

As a grantee of ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program in 2016, the Learning Center will receive funding to support the publication of the Yucca Project, which through text provided by culture-bearers and photographs, explores the many functions of the yucca plant, from food to rope construction, that is central to Native practices.


Click on any image to view slideshow.

A project of the Dorothy Ramon Center will look at the many uses of the yucca plant by Native peoples (Photo: Carlos Puma)
Harvesting yucca blossoms and their uses is explored in a new project by the Dorothy Ramon Center (Photo: Carlos Puma)

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