is stormy, wet and elusive outside. Inside it is warm, real and
white hot with the Pow wow tradition. Grossmont College 16th annual
celebration of life brings together the urban and rural tribal population
into sharp focus. The College institution provides the facility.
Tom Gamboa related that this, Pow Wow has always had a theme
of 'Indians Helping Indians'. The college provides not a cent purposely
and with major budget cuts now it would be impossible. The only
thing they provide is the facility. Viejas and Barona fund the Pow
objective of this Pow Wow is to raise funds for the American Indian
Scholarship Fund. Which pays for the tuition of every Indian that
attends Grossmont. Being such an ethnic specific scholarship we
felt that the money to fund this scholarship should come from within
the Indian community hence the 'Indians Helping Indians' theme.
year we paid the tuition for 42 Indian students. Yesterday after
paying out all the honorariums and other expenses we will be turning
in Monday to the scholarship fund $1,618. I was shocked when we
held the 'blanket' dance for the scholarships fund that one member
of our Indian community placed $500 on the 'blanket'."
of the pow wows held in San Diego County has its own special emotion
and appeal. The GCC event is always the same and yet always different.
who have attended most of them will readily agree. There is always
a lot of good Southern Plains tradition to enjoy. Those dancers
that live for gourd dance count the days for this one-day event!
And yet there is a spontaneity that always makes this event special
and unique. This year is no exception.
Helen Razo memorial: the GCC committee selected this years pow wow
to the memory of San Diego Kumeyaay elder, Helen Razo. Her family
and friends acknowledged her last years in service to our Indian
youth. She was one of the staff of the Indian Education project.
Indian Ed coordinator, Vicky Gambala is instrumental in organizing
this tribute. John Hood spoke for the family.
Binding the wounds of the Samoan and Kumeyaay Nations: Tom Gamboa
introduced Joseph Red Bear, AIWA president and former Marine Corps
Force Recon. They described the steps accomplished to bring the
nations into a balance after the tragedy at Coors arena. Charlie
Brown from Viejas represented the Kumeyaay Nation.
Recognition of our military warriors: This years Head Man Dancer,
Greg Poahway, was deployed back to Iraq days before the weekend,
his wife, Erin Poahway is in attendance. Their first child is due
in May. As a former Marine, Tom said a prayer for him. Greg is in
Marine Corps Force Recon and will be in harms way once again. Richard
Parker Van Dyke, U. S. Navy, twenty year retired veteran, volunteered
to fulfill the position.
and special guests: Hershel Kaullity singing with the Red Tipi drum
brings his tradition and wisdom to the circle. Also, the late Will
Sampson's son appeared and performed a hoop dance. Joan Phoenix,
Otoe, has been a constant example to us all on how things need to
be done. She is not in the best of health but it is very special
to see her at an event that is so close to her heart. Her legacy
is most evident in the many current and past members of the Little
Hawks Dancers. Joan and her husband Boxie have constantly
and graciously kept the Barona pow wow going in the right direction.
is an electric tension in the air filled with anticipation of the
Grand Entry. The GCC pow wow is one of the first, in this area,
after the holidays. Many excellent and new dancers filled the dance
arena this evening. It fills our heart to see so many happy faces
enjoying our tribal ways. Indian traditions will live, the Creator
report will be incomplete without recognizing the outstanding quality
of the Host Drums and the superb singers that make the pow wow the
success that this traditional tribal celebration brings to all the
Tipi Singers: Daron and Glen Ahhitty joined with a circle of lead
singers to bring forth hours of gourd dance and family songs.
Singers: Larry Garcia spoke to the circle at the appreciation song
for the Red Tipi Singers. He acknowledged many past singers and
their sons who are now gathered around the center drum and singing
for the people. It is wonderful.
final acknowledgement and heartfelt thanks is to the GCC pow wow
organizing committee: Vickie Matheney and Jenelle Millar, the faculty
advisor is: Tom Gamboa, Thank you, Aho, Mehan