Soaring Eagle Youth Honoring Our Elders

By Roy Cook

These children attending this May 14, 2011 activity today at Admiral Baker field, in the very proximity of the traditional Kumeyaay Nipaquay village, will tell their children how things were when they were young. The continuity of culture and tribal tradition of will restore the hoop of the world, for all the people, for all our relations. As adult participants, we always need to remember, the SDAIHYC youth center is not about us, it is all for our tribal future-the children!


We continually are encouraged by the support of our Tribal Elders attending from out of town and San Diego. We sincerely feel each gathering is following in the tradition of the seasonal camp circles when tribes came together. This wellness community picnic is following in the paths of tradition determined by the wisdom taught to us by our American Indian Elders and ancestors.



There are many entertaining and healthy activities for all ages and interests to enjoy. The food table and cool drinks are available all day. Dignitaries in attendance included: Todd Gloria, San Diego Councilman. He brought a proclamation from the city declaring that this is officially Vickie Gambala day in San Diego. Jim Warne, Rose bowl and professional football player presented a very popular football clinic. Yoga, Tai Chi, basketball, horseshoes, softball activities were spaced out during the day. Registration shirts and gift bags were received along with the ticket for the final gift raffle.


This day, May 14, 2011, special focus of the Youth Center’s activities is the honoring of Ms Vickie Gambala for the 33 years of service to our American Indian youth. She is the driving force of the American Indian Education program. The Soaring Eagle program provides Native American/Alaskan Native K-12 students with an opportunity to learn traditional dance, regalia and respectful tribal customs.


The Soaring Eagle program is located in Old Town. The Ballard Parent Center serves as the home of San Diego Parent University, where parents learn how to strengthen their parenting skills, become more involved in their children’s education as academic coaches and improve their ability to communicate with their children.


Finally, we extend our appreciative thanks to: the SDAIHC- Youth center, Chris Scott, Dr. Melanie Cain and TONKAWA elders. We all hope to see you and your family at the next American Indian community event.