San Diego Soaring Eagles stories are brought to you by Southern California American Indian Resource, SCAIR.


Soaring Eagles Under Venus Nights

By Roy Cook


We have new families and old friends for a fine dance workshop this Wednesday March 28, 2012 evening. Past public performances at conferences and pow wows along with special invitations are a recent focus tonight.


From beginning of the evening to the end the Soaring Eagle, parents and children invitation to be a part of the Native American April 19, 2012 presentation for the Dali Lama are part of the structure of the dance workshop. The special significance of the Dali Lama is brought out: For your information from the Roof of the World to the Land of Enchantment. The relationship between the Tibetans and the Hopi can be loosely examined but one can’t help but be overwhelmed with the similarities between the two cultures.

Besides their common physical appearances, their braided hair for male and females, etc, the Hopi and Tibetan people share many more cultural similarities. Both cultures have extensive use of turquoise jewelry to ward off evil. Both cultures exhibit similar use of silver and coral, as well as similar colors, materials and woven patterns of their textiles.

Also, During the Dalai Lama’s first visit to North America, he met with three Hopi elders. The spiritual leaders agreed to speak in only in their Native tongues. Through Hopi elder and interpreter Thomas Benyaca, delegation head one of the Grandfather’s first words to the Dalai Lama were: “Welcome home.”

The Dalai Lama laughed, noting the striking resemblance of the turquoise around Grandfather David’s neck to that of his homeland. He replied: “And where did you get your turquoise?”

Since that initial meeting, the Dalai Lama has visited Santa Fe to meet with Pueblo leaders, Tibetan Lamas have engaged in numerous dialogues with Hopis and other Southwestern Indians, and now, through a special resettlement program to bring Tibetan refugees to the United States, New Mexico has become a central home for relocated Tibetan families.

As exchanges become increasingly common between Native Americans and Tibetans, a sense of kinship and solidarity has developed between the cultures. While displacement and invasion have forced Tibetans to reach out to the global community in search of allies, the Hopi and other Southwestern Native Americans have sought an audience for their message of world peace and harmony with the earth. In the context of these encounters are the activities of writers and activists who are trying to bridge the two cultures. A flurry of books and articles has been published, arguing that Tibetans and Native Americans may share a common ancestry.

The perception of similarity between Native Americans of the Southwest and the Tibetans is undeniably striking. Beyond a common physicality and turquoise jewelry, parallels include the abundant use of silver and coral, the colors and patterns of textiles and long braided hair, sometimes decorated, worn by both men and women.

When William Pacheco, a Pueblo student, visited a Tibetan refugee camp in India, people often spoke Tibetan to him, assuming that he was one of them.

“Tibetans and Native American Pueblo people share a fondness for chile (though Tibetans claim pueblo chile is too mild!),” says Pacheco, “and a fondness for turquoise, used by both cultures as ways to ward off evil spirits. Also, the prophecy of Guru Rinpoche, when he said, ‘when Tibetans are scattered throughout the world, and horses run on iron wheels and when iron birds fly, the dharma will come to the land of the red man.’”

Even before most westerners knew where Tibet was, much less what their situation was, and almost twenty years before the advent of the Tibetan Diaspora, cultural affinities between these two peoples were noted by Frank Waters in his landmark work, Book of the Hopi (1963). Waters’ analysis went below the surface, citing corresponding systems of chakras or energy spots within the body meridians that were used to cultivate cosmic awareness. In The Masked Gods, a book about Pueblo and Navajo ceremonialism published in 1950, Waters observed that the Zuni Shalako dance symbolically mirrored the Tibetan journey of the dead. “To understand [the Shalako dance's] meaning, we must bear in mind all that we have learned of Pueblo and Navaho [sic] eschatology and its parallels found in the Bardo Thodal, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, in The Secret of the Golden Flower, the Chinese Book of Life, and in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.”

As is the case with most Earth-based cultures with a shamanic tradition, some Native ceremonies contain spiritual motifs similar to cultures from around the world (hence the broad comparison made by Waters). This could account for some of the similarities seen between Tibetan and Native American spiritual practices, such as Navajo sand painting, and cosmic themes found throughout traditional Pueblo dances.

But such comparisons hide the fact that there is no unified opinion among any indigenous groups, whether they are Tibetan or Native American. In the Southwest, for example, the Hopi and Navajo have distinctly separate cultures, religions and languages, yet they often get lumped together. Moreover, even among the Hopi, there is no single voice.”

But our hearts and the primary goal of the Soaring Eagle program are always the children. This dance workshops enthusiasm and quality is evident in the initiative, joy, pride of tribal identity and participation in the songs and dance categories.


Each evening most of our positive Soaring Eagle dance workshop elements of support are there for the benefit of the children: Elders. Three drums and singers, dance mentors along with many community announcements, potluck: chicken, beans, spaghetti in meat sauce, spam, broccoli, green salad and rolls with butter. Later we had birthday theme cupcakes, chocolate cake, donuts, punch and hot coffee. And best of all, folks ready to have a good time doing this thing for the children.


Parent and friends participation are very important to the social aspect of the program success. Remember to bring a potluck item or side dish for the Soaring Eagles dance workshop evening feast. It is our Traditional Indian way to practice hospitality and generosity when we invite all to attend an Indian gathering and share the meal with the whole community. San Diego Unified School District, SDUSD, Ballard Parent Center, 2375 Congress St. San Diego, CA 92110.


The Soaring Eagle dance group will be very active over the remainder of the 2012 spring:

SDSU Viejas arena at Aztec bowl April 19, 2012.

Dali Lama talks to the people.

Soaring Eagle 2012 Workshop schedule:

April 11, 25- all Wednesdays

May 2, 9, 23- all Wednesdays

June 13, Wednesday

April 7, 2012

40th Annual UC Davis Powwow
UCD Pavilion, LaRue Rd/Orchard Park Rd
Davis, Ca

Info: Melissa Johnson @ (530) 752-7032

April 14, 2012

Fresno State First Nations Powwow
California State University, Fresno
5241 N Maple Ave
Fresno, Ca

Info: Angie Segura, (559) 307-7865

MC - Bobby Whitebird
AD - Eugene Newman
Head Southern Singer - Steve Bohay
Host Northern Drum - Bearspring

April 14, 2012

DQ University Big Time Powwow
33250 County Road 31
Davis, Ca

Info: Dunn Eggink (707)677-5159

April 14 & 15, 2012

14th Annual Chumash Day Powwow
Malibu Bluffs Park
24250 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, Ca

Info: Amy Crittenden, (310) 456-2489

April 20 - 22, 2012

26th Annual ASU Powwow
ASU Band Practice Field
6th St and Rural Rd
Tempe, AZ

Info: Lee @ (480) 965-5224[1].pdf

April 21, 2012

27th Annual Youth Powwow
2010 Magnolia Ave
Sherman Indian High School
Riverside, Ca

Info: Josie Montes, (951) 276-6325 x303

April 21 & 22, 2012

27th Annual UCLA Powwow
UCLA North Athletic Field
220 West Plaza
Los Angeles, Ca

Info: (310) 206-7513

April 26 - 28, 2012

Gathering Of Nations
UNM Arena “The Pit”
330 Coors Blvd, Northwest
Albuquerque, NM

Info: Derek or Melonie Mathews @ (505) 836-2810

May 4 - 6, 2012

2nd Annual THA Powwow
National Orange Show Fairgrounds
San Bernardino,Ca

Info: Michelle Dahl (800) 732-8805 x 1116

Head Staff
MC: Ruben Littlehead
Arena Director: Rusty Gillette
Dance Judge: Juaquin Hamilton
Drum Judge: Randy Paskemin

May 5, 2012

UC Berkeley Powwow
West Circle Lawn

May 5 & 6, 2012

Mother Earth People Inter-tribal Traditional Powwow
Mojave Narrows Regional Park
18000 Yates Rd
Victorville, Ca

$10 park fee, camping available
Info: (760) 245-2398

MC - Bobby WhiteBird, Michael Reifel
AD - Eugene Newman
HGD - Steve Bohay
Host Drum - Black Lodge Singers
Host Southern Drum - Hale & Company
Host Northern Drum - Blue Star

May 11 - 13, 2012

Northern/Southern Winds Recognizing No Borders
LA Historic Park
1245 N Spring St
Los Angeles, Ca

May 11 - 13, 2012

41st Annual Stanford Powwow
Eucalyptus Grove, Galvez and Campus Drives
Stanford, Ca

Info: Maija Cruz @ (650) 723-4078

May 12 & 13, 2012

Cal State Dominguez Hills Powwow
Sculpture Gardens, CSUDH
1000 E Victoria St
Carson, Ca

Info: (310) 243-2438

MC - John Dawson
AD - Victor Chavez
Host Southern Drum - Sooner Nation
Host Northern Drum - Changing Spirits Pow Wow Flyer.pdf

May 12 & 13, 2012

19th Annual Chi-Tock-Non Kote-U-Pu Powwow
Mariposa County Fairgrounds
Mariposa, Ca

Info: (209) 742-2244

May 12 & 13, 2012

American Indian Culture Days
Balboa Park, Park Blvd & Presidents Way
San Diego, Ca

Info: Jonathan York @ (619) 281-5964

May 18 - 20, 2012

Susanville Indian Rancheria 3rd Annual Memorial Powwow
Lassen County Fairgrounds
195 Russell Ave
Susanville, Ca

Info: Donna Clark @ (530) 257-5449

May 19 & 20, 2012

2nd Annual UCSD Powwow
Muir Field, UC San Diego
9450 Gillman Dr
La Jolla, Ca

MC - Randy Edmonds
Headman - Richard DeCrane
Headlady - Nora Pulskamp
Host Northern Drum - Green River


May 25 & 26, 2012

31st Annual UCR Honoring Our Warriors Powwow
UCR Sports Complex
1000 West Blain St
Riverside, Ca

Info: Maria Lorenzo @ (951) 827-4143 PW_2012.pdf