By Roy Cook
This past year has been an exciting opportunity to receive the trust of our Indian children. Due to many factors and situations, this trust, freely given by the children, is a most valuable quality. It is most evident in the greetings and the smiles and the shy handclasps at the end of the evening. In many tribal communities, these are common sights and experiences in the traditional tribal socialization process.
We take special note and encourage these actions in the urban Indian community. Of particular achievement by the Soaring Eagles students is the tangible reward and recognition of their dancing skills in local pow wow competition. Even though this competing is not a part of the dance instruction individual recognition is a very good reinforcement and a positive boost to the overall self-esteem of the Indian child.
All of these group-gathering activities have an opportunity to bring the traditional function of the back home Tribal dances, seasonal camp circle, public forum, to the parents and the urban Indian community. This is a positive combined result. We feel really good to see our Indian Children realize their pride of tribal identity, peer interaction and mentoring examples on a variety of levels and interests. Traditionally at these and on the reservations, there are announcements, birthdays, and graduations, honoring occasions or guest speakers.
SCAIR, Southern California American Indian Resource, Soaring Eagle dance program in July 2009 is on Wednesday at 6:30 pm in the Normal Heights Community room. The SCAIR hosted and voluntary potluck meal continues at the beginning of the evening with a blessing by an elder or designated spiritual person. Long summer days and pleasant evenings, under a full moon this week, are permitting dinners to be held out of doors in the patio. This has also allowed more room for the dancers inside.
We continue to thank the many responsible volunteers participating that make this Soaring Eagles dance program a success. Our SCAIR Senior advisor, Randy Edmonds, is a very faithful and supportive member of the program. He recently announced approval for the Kiowa Gourd Dance instruction and regalia to be taught at the Soaring Eagle program.
SCAIR dance instructor, Edward ‘Chuck’ Cadotte has been encouraging the adults to enter the dance circle and participate. He continues to refine and encourage each category of dance style: Women and men traditional, grass dance, jingle dress, shawl dance, Southern women, round dance and mentor each dancer to do their best.
Young singers and parents interested in their children learning the songs have also approached us. We have been enjoying the interest of our youthful ‘fans’ at the drum. All are welcome around the drum. However, to have a seat at the drum will require one to sing or at least hit the A, E, I, O, U vowels and try to ‘catch’ the tune then the song and finally the words to be a singer at the drum.
A final note: keep in mind the Mini-Swap meet on Saturday July 25, 09 from 8am to 2pm. This will be held at the IHRC facility, 4225 Fairmont ST. San Diego, CA 92105. Donations are appreciated and can be dropped off starting Thursday July 23, 09. All proceeds will benefit the Soaring Eagles dance workshop. For more information call: 619-281-5964.
There is still an open invitation for everyone to drop in. All are welcome to enjoy and participate in these SCAIR hosted free Soaring Eagle American Indian Dance classes.