Soaring Eagle Bring Native Pride to SDSU

By Roy Cook

The SDSU Alumni committee Pow wow event is memorable in this regard. Those alumni tribal members that have been a part of the pow wow tradition for most of their lives could see that the respect and protocol of the arena is given constant consideration. Our thanks to Preston Chipps and his organizing committee. Opening the event are the Wildcat Singers under the leadership of Juan Meza Cuero, Kumeyaay. These mesas and valleys have echoed with this Kumeyaay song style for millenniums.


Arena director Richard Overdall respectfully kept everything running smoothly in the dance circle. The Soaring Eagle children, who were introduced to the circle in a ceremonial way, by SCAIR Senior advisor Randy Edmonds, now have a life memory to recall and are an integral part of the inter-tribal memory and the tribal oral tradition. One of the constant strengths of these Pow wow celebrations of life is the ability to introduce and preserve our tribal ways. The Inter-Tribal Pow wow can offer many tribal groups the opportunity to come together in a traditional American Indian context to share with everyone the Creator’s gift of life.

There are many Native American tribal people living in San Diego. Many are from all over the United States of America, Canada and Mexico. The inter-tribal quality of the pow wow provides a cooperative environment of mutual enjoyment. Visitors to the event enjoyed the circle of vendors from the greater Southwest Indian country. Many American Indian based organizations provided special information on services and educational opportunities. Best of all the children were there, our American Indian future, smiling, trusting. The children were laughing or gathered around elders for comfort and special treats.

Also on view are artistic creations of traditional design and exotic interpretations: sculpture, painting, apparel, personal adornment and jewelry. Also, there are the always-popular food booths to feed the inner person. Tasty delights like: Kumeyaay fried bread, Indian tacos or pop overs, soups and stews to warm the heart and bring nostalgic smiles to faces far from home. Many at this Pow wow celebration acquired many special gifts and lasting memories of the SDSU 2011 pow wow.

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In the arena the Emcee, SCAIR Senior Advisor Randy Edmonds kept the visitors informed. The Southern California American Indian Resource Center, SCAIR, has been a constant support from the beginning of the Soaring Eagle program. There were many special presentations and generous giveaways.

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David Gloria, Tlingit was the Head Gourd dancer. He brought the Oklahoma gourd dance dignity to the opening of the event. The emcee, Randy Edmonds, added the Kiowa Gourd dance perspective. Randy acknowledged the quality of the gourd dance and special songs led by Tim Redbird, Kiowa, of the Red Warrior singers.

Richard Decrane, Crow-Dine’ is the headman dancer and he also served as the staff carrier. The Honor Color guard was organized by the Santa Ysabel Military Veterans organization.


Rounding out our head staff and leading out all the events were: Cari Gloria, head woman, head young girl, Alfreda Sheldon, head young boy Mason Bichitty, tiny tot girl, Zoe Bospflug, tiny tot boy, Dakota Jacome. There were wonderful songs to lift ones heart in the joy of the dance: Intertribals, Buffalo dances, trot songs, victory songs and dance category exhibitions for all to enjoy seeing the progress of the Soaring Eagle dancers.

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Of special note is the quality of the songs from the drums and singers this weekend. Host Northern drum, Green River, Host Southern drum Red Warriors, and guest drum, Blue Water sang for the dancers. Green River sang a medicine jingle dance song for Don Tracy and all the people who need prayers for better health and wellness.

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Our tribal ways will continue to endure. This is a memorable occasion for all Tribal people attending the SDSU Alumni 2011 Pow wow. It is wonderful to be a small part in the joy, discovery, accomplishment and tradition of this program.

These American Indian Soaring Eagle children are our American Indian Nations future, we must always think of them. We must be mindful of their trust and protect them from real or potential dangers. Thank you for being there. Thank you Hilda for the pictures. We hope to see you on the pow wow trail, Mehan, Aho.