San Diego Soaring Eagles stories are brought to you by Southern California American Indian Resource, SCAIR.
Soaring Eagles Prepare for Pow wow Season
By Roy Cook
Our focus for the Soaring Eagle program is 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. This was reinforced by the presentation of the Carla Tourville filmed DVD of the SDSU pow wow last month. Multi-copies were distributed to the Soaring Eagle parents.
We continue to have new families and old friends arrive for a fine dance workshop this Wednesday April 11, 2012. Also, from the 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 continues to be a part of the structure of the dance workshop. Also announced is Earth Day celebration at the Rincon reservation on the 13th of this month. With this in mind the SCAIR tutor Jeanie Alvarado brought in two booklets: Earth Day workbook and the Force of Water. Water is a most relevant issue to Tribal America!
|4/10/2012 11:09:00 AM
Kyl and McCain visit to Tuba City erupts into Hopi and Navajo protest
Crowd expresses displeasure with the two senators’ closed meeting discussions with Hopi and Navajo leaders over one of their most precious resources - water
Rosanda Suetopka Thayer
TUBA CITY, Ariz. - U.S. Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain traveled to Tuba City April 5 to meet with Hopi and Navajo tribal leaders.
Accompanied by bodyguards, they did not stay long after they were booed, hissed and jeered by Hopi, Navajo and non-Native crowd. A protest erupted, with the crowd showing their displeasure with the two senators’ closed meeting discussions with Hopi and Navajo leaders over one of their most precious tribal resources - water.
While Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly was finally forced to take public responsibility for initiating the northeastern Arizona visit by Republican Senators Kyl and McCain via a press release issued on April 4, the Navajo portion of the senatorial visit was to urge Navajo council delegates to move quickly to help push through the water rights settlement agreement through Congress before this session and Kyl’s term of office ends.
However, in a press release issued by Hopi Chairman Leroy Shingoitewa on April 6, Shingoitewa continued to claim that the Hopi portion of the senatorial visit was only to discuss “items of concern” not related to the Little Colorado River Water Settlement agreement.
Shingoitewa’s senatorial meeting agenda cited on the April 6 press release that the Hopi Council and its Water and Energy Team and council members were only going to discuss Hopi land acquisitions, environmental contamination issues, federal funding request for a new detention facility, and a request for a new school for Third Mesa area elementary students. A final disclaimer stated that “the 2012 Little Colorado Water Rights Settlement was not the focus of discussion between the senators and Hopi tribal leaders.”
Hopi and Navajo tribal members at the protest responded to the Hopi and Navajo press release statements.
“Then why all the secrecy? Why the closed doors to the Hopi and Navajo public and why can’t we as Hopi and Navajo members be allowed to listen in on these senate visits when it’s our water and our communal concerns that are being discussed? If it’s nothing to alarm us, there should be complete transparency,” said Martha Berman. Berman is a Navajo member from Canoncito (To’haajilee’) area near Albuquerque who drove with her sister the night before to be at the joint tribal Tuba City protest against the Little Colorado Water Rights Settlement agreement.
While Navajo President Ben Shelly addressed his own tribal people in a public press conference in uptown Tuba, Shingoitewa never left the Moencopi Legacy Inn to face his own tribal members who were standing outside the hotel parking lot waiting to hear from him on their concerns regarding their water.
Hopi police officers blocked the entrance to the Legacy Inn, not allowing any Hopi tribal members into the closed meeting.
SB 2109, introduced by Kyl in February, would require that both tribes “waive” all claims to the Little Colorado River water in exchange for three groundwater projects that would deliver drinking water to homes on both Hopi and Navajo who currently don’t have running water. The senators both admitted that their plan needs full tribal approval before they can go forward.
“We must decide whether we will support or not support this water act as soon as possible. This is partly because the current session of Congress is closing if we’re going to get this through,” said Erny Zah, press officer for Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly. President Shelly did issue an additional press release last week, which indicated that there will be a series of seven public meetings for his Navajo people. Shelly said that comments from those public sessions will be submitted to their tribal council on the Little Colorado River Settlement agreement,
Navajo tribal member Louise Benally expressed doubt about the success of that plan.
“How are seven meetings going to help us? We have over 100 chapters and many Navajos do not have access to vehicles to get to these limited seven meetings. If Ben Shelly or Rex Jim really wanted to hear from all of us, then they need to go to every single chapter even if that takes more time and money and translation from English into Navajo. That’s how important this water issue is to us,” said Benally.
Hopi opponents of the Little Colorado River Water Rights Settlement such as Benjamin Nuvamsa, Vernon Masayesva and Ivan Sidney - all former Hopi chairmen - have cautioned that the Little Colorado River proposal settlement agreement is nothing but empty promises.
“While Kyl, McCain, Shingoitewa and Shelly say they will provide much needed water to our communities, the groundwater projects for our people will come at a great and much more far reaching expense than just money. They also want us to forever extinguish and waive our future claims over our water rights and water quality, which will result in loss of our traditional values, culture, ceremonies and our sovereignty,” said Nuvamsa.
Both Hopi and Navajo tribal officials are now having to “back-pedal” on their preliminary senatorial “agreement in principle” that was referenced on a Feb. 17 letter from Jon Kyl to Sandy Fabritz-Whitney, director at the Arizona Department of Resources. The letter references “minor tribal issues that must be resolved” because the bill requires full tribal consent.
Heavy police presence from federal, tribal and Department of Public Safety officers at the peaceable protest also was a concern for both tribes’ members who wanted to be heard and visible against the Kyl and McCain visit.
Former Hopi tribal chairman Vernon Masayesva was one of the Navajo Police protest casualties. Masayesva was knocked to the floor at the Hogan Restaurant council meeting as he was trying to gain access along with former Navajo Nation President Milton Bluehouse to listen to the closed meeting topic.
“I was not even afforded the respect as a former Hopi chairman and long-time Hopi advocate of water rights, to listen in. I was instead shoved out of the meeting, knocked down and to make it worse, I was asked to leave the restaurant after sitting down inside to get something to eat by the restaurant manager. Who treats their own people like this? We are here to have our own voices heard about water and that is not being honored,” said Masayesva.
Both tribal leaders have since issued press statements saying they will provide more public education sessions with open transparency for their tribal members.
“Let’s see how accountable and honest Shingoitewa and Shelly are going to be, since we all heard and witnessed their promises about more public participation and input,” said Lawrence Hamana, Hopi tribal member from Moencopi Village. He traveled from Phoenix to be at the Tuba City protest.
A large portion of the success of the joint tribal protest march was due to technology with email, social websites like Facebook postings and cell phone interaction between several of the Hopi and Navajo grassroots organizers.
A strong cross-tribal support system has gained much support between Hopi and Navajo tribal community members who are technology savvy and have finely honed research skills, which has built up a tight cross-tribal “Kill the Bill” movement.
“It’s amazing what we can do in our own research for public documents, including information from Congress, with ‘Google’ and world web information at our fingertips. Public information is there for us as community members to check on environmental, science and federal, state financial information, we can quickly find out facts to help support our opposition to SB 2109,” stated one young Hopi tribal member from Hotevilla who was with his mom at the protest.
Almost each evening, as tonight, our SCAIR Senior Advisor Randy Edmonds provides the blessing for the feast. Also, tonight most of our positive Soaring Eagle dance workshop elements of support are there for the benefit of the children: Elders. Inter-tribal drum and singers, dance mentors along with many community announcements, potluck: rice and meat, spaghetti in meat sauce, noodles with meat in red sauce and fresh strawberries. Later we had cookies, donuts, punch and hot coffee. And best of all, folks ready to have a good time doing this potluck thing for the children.
Parent and friends participation are very important to the Tribal 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 performance dance group will be very active over the remainder of the 2012 spring: For Soaring Eagle, contact: Vickie Gambala 619-306-7318.
SDSU Viejas arena at Aztec bowl April 19, 2012.
Dalai Lama talks to the people.
Soaring Eagle 2012 Workshop schedule:
April 25- Wednesday
May 2, 9, 23- all Wednesdays
June 13, Wednesday
April 14, 2012
Fresno State First Nations Powwow
California State University, Fresno
5241 N Maple Ave
Info: Angie Segura, (559) 307-7865
MC - Bobby Whitebird
AD - Eugene Newman
Head Southern Singer - Steve Bohays
Host Northern Drum - Bearspring
April 14, 2012
DQ University Big Time Powwow
33250 County Road 31
Info: Dunn Eggink (707)677-5159
April 14 & 15, 2012
14th Annual Chumash Day Powwow
Head Gourd Dancer: Saginaw Grant
Malibu Bluffs Park
24250 Pacific Coast Hwy
Info: Amy Crittenden, (310) 456-2489
April 20 - 22, 2012
26th Annual ASU Powwow
ASU Band Practice Field
6th St and Rural Rd
Info: Lee @ (480) 965-5224
April 21, 2012
27th Annual Youth Powwow
2010 Magnolia Ave
Sherman Indian High School
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
Info: Derek or Melonie Mathews @ (505) 836-2810
May 4 - 6, 2012
2nd Annual THA Powwow
National Orange Show Fairgrounds
Info: Michelle Dahl (800) 732-8805 x 1116
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
$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
Info: Maija Cruz @ (650) 723-4078
May 12 & 13, 2012
Cal State Dominguez Hills Powwow
Sculpture Gardens, CSUDH
1000 E Victoria St
Info: (310) 243-2438
MC - John Dawson
AD - Victor Chavez
Host Southern Drum - Sooner Nation
Host Northern Drum - Changing Spirits
May 12 & 13, 2012
19th Annual Chi-Tock-Non Kote-U-Pu Powwow
Mariposa County Fairgrounds
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
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
Info: Maria Lorenzo @ (951) 827-4143