By Roy Cook
Photos by Ben Nance
American Indian family and friends came from near and far to support their relations appointed to responsible positions at the Census 2010 Pow wow. You can count on the important message presented at this Pow wow by regional and local Census workers. It is in our hands and Indians count!
The participants from the Soaring Eagle dance workshop are frequently called upon to be head staff for the local events and Pow wows. Our constant support for the Soaring Eagle workshops, SCAIR, had an information table and banner to inform the public of the services offered by the Southern California American Indian Resource organization. We also appreciate the use of the facility and cooperation of Ms Rachel Ortiz, Executive Director of the Barrio Station, 2175 Newton St. SD, CA 92113.
The chairpersons for the Census Pow wow are Vickie Gambala and SCAIR Senior Advisor, Randy Edmonds. Randy is also the Emcee for this event. Richard Overdal is the Arena Director and Soaring Eagle Steven Gloria is the Assistant Arena Director.
There is a fine, full house for the start of the songs and dancing. David Gloria is the head gourd dancer. Gourd dancers from San Diego, Los Angeles, Fresno, Colorado and active military USMC and US Navy came to join in and support the event. The Red Warriors sang the songs for the gourd dance.
Richard Decrane is the Staff carrier for the American Indian Warrior Association Honor Guard: Michael Billie, Roy Cook, Emerson Joe, Arturo Tisnedo and Joaquin Sandoval brought in the flags at the Grand Entry.
At the Grand Entry leading in are the Pow wow head staff: Jennifer and Frank Gastelum, Head Male and Female. Balthazaar Jackson and Lissette Flores, Head Boy and Girl Dancers. Green River Singers and the Red Warrior sang appropriate songs for the Grand entry.
During the Pow wow the Census Staff and workers were introduced to the audience and they enjoyed a thundering applause. There are tables inside and out and a van with further assistance on filling out the Census forms was available outside. Everyone is told to fill out those forms or someone will come knocking on their door. Naturally, also outside, there are Indian Art tables and all sorts of interesting items to select for gifts or personal adornment.
In addition to head staff specials there are some entertaining special dances performed for this Census Pow wow. Steven Garcia performed a very graceful Pueblo eagle dance. Chuck Cadotte and his group of Soaring Eagles did the Lakota gourd dance.
There were: Buffalo dances, trot songs, round dance and dance category exhibitions for all to enjoy seeing the progress of the Soaring Eagle dancers.
There is respect for the local Kumeyaay culture of the San Diego area. Leroy Elliot, Chairman of the Manzanita Band and Louis Guassic along with a row of Bird Singers added to the fullness of the late afternoons Census Pow wow presentations.
There was a second session of Gourd dance and our good friends: Wilbur Solomon and Fred Burrows joined in support of the 2010 Census Pow wow and David Gloria, head gourd dancer.
Finally, after all were fed and happy winners received their prizes Randy called for the Veterans song and ended these happy festivities. Did we have a good time? You can count on it!