Soboba Payomkawichum: Fly American Colors

By Roy Cook


The 13th Annual Soboba Payomkawichum Pow wow. What a grand setting for a celebration of our American Indian culture. This Indian Nation is located across the dry river and at the foot of 10,000 feet San Jacinto. The Soboba Elders, Tribal council, powwow Chairperson Rosemary Morillo and the Soboba Casino hosted this September 17-20, last days of summer, expression of Tribal pride and hospitality. This is truly a fine place to winter!


Included in the first presentations on Saturday are many members of the Soaring Eagle tots, Moms and babies. A number of Dads’s also held the hand of this picture perfect contest where all are winners.


The Soboba Elders awarded a gift for all the winners. Bags of goodies were hauled away by the tiny tots with smiles and respectful handshakes.


Soaring Eagles parents and teachers appreciate this opportunity to share our pride of the Indian children dancers at the Soboba Pow wow. The Soaring Eagles group is sponsored by: Southern California American Indian Resource, SCAIR. Organized by Vickie Gambala, SDUSD Indian Education. The head instructor is Edward ‘Chuck’ Cadotte. Randy Edmonds is the, SCAIR Senior advisor and many times provides the blessing for the Soaring Eagle evening gatherings.

Our Soaring Eagles dance group is pleased to participate and support clip_image003 the Soboba annual pow wow. Our good friend Ernie Salgado is a member of this reservation. He has long been associated with: AHMIUM Education, Inc. This education program was established in 1975 and has proudly served the indigenous California Native American Indian community for more than 33 years —

Ernie is also the CEO of APAPAS Development Co. This is a privately owned Native American Indian company. They specialize in professional consulting services, strategic communications for government and cultural relations. Also, they offer effective marketing strategies in the Digital Age. APAPAS is located on the Soboba Indian Reservation in Southern California.

On June 19, 1883, the United States by Executive Order established what is now the Soboba Reservation. They celebrated their 126th Anniversary on July 26, 2009. The Soboba Community Sports Complex also hosts the NIAA (National Indian Athletics Association). Another part of the Soboba Community is The Oaks Retreat, which has several sports fields and facilities that can be used for conferences and sports activities.

Soboba Pow wow Emcee, Tom Phillips explained, “How the dancers finish a song is crucial. It has to be instant with the drum beat.” He has emceed close to 30 powwows a year for the last 25 years. “I am a Kiowa-Apache and Muscogee Creek from Oklahoma, so these pow wows are part of my culture. It comes naturally.”


The Jingle dance originated with the Ojibwa Nation in the Great Lakes and traditionally is: a dance for healing people with health problems that witnessed the dance. Ezhi - piitendaagwak Bmaadzawin–precious life.

The Kingbird singer songs and the Jingle dancers brought wellness into the arena. Tom Phillips announced that Jim Red Eagle had a health crisis the day before in the arena. Jim is a long time Northern traditional dancer and organizer. We all wish him a quick recovery from his heart complications. Tom asked for wellness, for all to dance and have a good time at the Soboba Pow wow.


The Honor guard at the grand entry consisted of Northern and Southern Traditional dancers in regalia. They led in a huge number of dancers in all of the competing categories: Women and Men Traditional, Buckskin dress, cloth dress, Grass dancers, Jingle dancers and Fancy feather dancers. All age categories were represented along with Tiny tots and Elders.



The fresh west breeze kept the arena comfortable for socializing with new and long time friends like Louie Andrade. Along with him are our friend Ron Andrade and his sister. Ron secured the first Title IV Indian Education program for the San Diego Unified District 25 years ago. This is a very fine afternoon and evening at Soboba. Mieyu, Mehan, Aho and thank you my friends and relatives.