This author's earliest memories are of people on Santa Ysabel Reservation, San Diego County. He was born in Tucson, Arizona of Ootam (Opata) and Oklahoma (Wazazee) Osage heritage. Following Traditional, Military and G.I. Bill education he lives and works at the local University and colleges in San Diego County, California. He is honored to have been invited to teach college classes on the North County, Pala and East County, Viejas Indian Reservations.

(Mazopiye Wichasha)

Ben Nance is the Webmaster and he has help develop the Web site. He has also done web projects for San Diego Indian Human Resource Center and the American Indian Culture Center Museum. Along the way he has sung with American Indian northern and southern drum groups. Upon invitation he participates in singing local Birdsongs with Ron Christman's group. These past several years he's attended, DQ University-Sycuan, Tribal culture classes.

He grew up in the Burbank area. His family moved there from Oklahoma before he was born. His Father worked for Columbia Studios. While very young he got involved with Fred Gabourie and a dance group that put on American Indian performances throughout the L. A. area. He often was featured in the Horsetail Dance that was popular in that 1950 era. Fred also deepened his cultural experiences by taking him to Pow wows around the Los Angeles area. Later on, being near the studios and the Boy Scouts, he worked with the late Iron Eyes Cody and his son 'Tree' Cody. He continued to be part of dance groups through High school. Following High school graduation he attended Chico State College. During this same period he pursued experience with the US Forest Service Fire Crews for five seasons. After graduating from SDSU he taught sciences in Chula Vista - South Bay High Schools. American Indian Life and culture has been a lifelong association. When his son was growing up Ben introduced him to similar American Indian cultural experiences and together they danced at Pow wows throughout Southern California.