By Roy Cook
Each of the urban Pow wows held in San Diego County has its own special emotion and appeal. For 22 years the Grossmont Community College, GCC, event, on Saturday, April 24, 2010 from noon to 10 pm, is always the same and yet charming and different with an urban rural character. This year Tom Gamboa was honored for his classroom service with a Pendleton blanket and laurels from the GCC administration.
Those who have attended most of the GCC pow wows will readily agree. There is always a lot of good Southern plains tradition to enjoy. There are many military veterans and very dedicated gourd dancers live for gourd dance. They count the months for this one-day and five hours of magnificent songs. Following the gourd dance there is usually an electric tension in the air in anticipation of the Grand Entry. This is also a fine time for a good Emcee to shine. He or she can entertain and inform what is planned and what is going on at the time. Randy Edmonds, SCAIR Senior advisor, is often called upon for his skill and experience as a pow wow emcee. The GCC pow wow has been one of the first of the season after the holidays.
Maybe moving the date from Feb. to April, for the first time in 22 years helped, the GCC weather was sunny, comfortable and pleasant in the day and comfortable in the evening too. Inside was pulsating with the Pow wow tradition.
We must recognize the constant, outstanding quality of the Host Drums and the superb singers. Sadly, we have also had a rash of deaths in the singer population. This is all the more regrettable because it is the songs that make the pow wow experience the successful and traditional tribal celebration for all the people. Whitecloud singers were the Head Northern Drum, Head singer, John Begay and ‘Bo’ led off the Southern singers, Green River singers and Blue Star also sang Northern.
SCAIR American Indian Dance instructor and Head Dancer, Chuck Cadotte hosted a Special dance for tiny tots, and in tribute to the recent loss in the Frank Gastelum family, he read a prayer that he composed for the Gastelum family. They were called up front and they all danced with the tiny tots.
Chuck spoke about the importance of teaching the young ones about our Native Culture and Heritage so that we can take pride and remember whom we are and not to lose our identity in this challenging and changing world.
Chamese Dempsey Special had a Women’s/Girls Special, with Yumiko Cambridge 3rd, Violet De Crane 2nd, and Grandma Garcia of the White Cloud singers group 1st.
Sonny Iron Cloud also hosted a Special Contest for traditional dancers. Winners were Balthazaar Jackson 2nd and Ben Nance was 1st
Grossmont College annual celebration of life brings together the urban and rural tribal population into sharp focus. The institution provides the facility but essentially no other support.
The American Indian Warriors Association, AIWA, is the Honor Guard that will bring in the flags. CA State Veteran representative, Pedro Molina, made a presentation of the Bear flag to the AIWA organization.
The new Assistant Secretary for California Veteran Affairs (Native American), Pedro ‘Pete’ Molina made the presentation of the California Bear Flag and Certificate of Award to the American Indian Warriors Association at the Grossmont Pow-Wow late afternoon, Saturday, April 24, 2010.
Our final acknowledgement and heartfelt thanks is to the GCC pow wow organizing committee for their efforts to bring the American Indian community together. We will look for you on the Pow wow trail. Your source for American Indian Pow wows 7/24, see below.