by Roy Cook, Opata-Oodham, Mazopiye Wishasha: Writer, Singer, Speaker
Soaring Eagles major participation in the January 16, 2010 Martin Luther Day parade in downtown San Diego was provided by San Diego Unified School District Title VII Indian Education coordinator, Vickie Gambala. She said, “It is nice to see our Reservation friends and pow wow people come out and join in support of the parents and Soaring Eagle children. We were pleased to have over forty dancers in regalia for the parade and special presentation later in the day.”
MLK: click for pictures of event- http://www.californiaindianeducation.org/soaring_eagles/2010/mlk_parade.html
The SCAIR sponsored Soaring Eagles American Indian children received outstanding support from the dancing Intertribal singers, in regalia. All along the parade, as the show stopping, closing act Soaring Eagles passed in review, viewers’ cheers were constantly raised higher.
SCAIR American Indian dance instructor, Edward ‘Chuck’ Cadotte said, “Frank Gastelum held the Eagle Staff and led the dancers behind Carla Trouville’s vehicle the singers sat in the truck bed and sang American Indian music for the dancers. WE had our Soaring Eagle banner flying and our group was in this order: Men Traditional Dancers in front, Women Traditional next, Fancy Shawl Dancers next, followed by the Jingle Dancers. The Grass Dancers brought up the rear. Followed by the families of the dancers.”
Every so often, it is nice to do something for general public appreciation and visibility. It is particularly encouraging to participate and receive positive response. As bonus recognition the Soaring Eagle, dancers are special award winners.
As Indian people, we always know we are special but to be cheered and applauded when we look great and feel good goes a long way to bolster ones self-esteem. Our Indian children are at risk each day by subliminal and direct forces to acculturate and continue the cultural genocide of assimilation. We look forward to future opportunities for them to feel good being what we are, Indian people.