California Indian Day Sycuan – 2003
By Roy Cook

Auka. Champion Wildcat singer Jon Meza Cuero fulfilled all expectations September 26, 2003. He was invited by the Sycuan community to be a significant part of the California Indian Day recognition. Over 30 years ago, in recognition of the rich heritage, culture, history, and contributions of California Indians, the State of California proclaimed the fourth Friday in September as California Indian Day. Today, California Indian Day continues to be a tradition celebrated by many communities across the state. Sycuan speaker Sharon Beasly announced, “Everyday is Indian day on the reservation.”

This recognition is significant to the Sycuan community, Casino and the thousands of visitors who enjoy: the rich culture and excitement gaming, entertainment, fine food.

Jon Cuero and his singers were positioned directly in front of the Casino. In prominent attendance is Anna Sandoval, former Chairperson, Rudy Ruiz, former Sycuan Council member, Joseph Sandoval, Pilar T. A. Pettiford, former Jamul Chairperson Kenny Meza and George Prieto who was encouraged to join the singers. Many community members are tapping their feet to the songs and, it seems, eager to join the dancers in the presentation. In beautiful regalia are: Alana Sandoval, Martha Rodriguez, Amy Smith, and Mariana Gomez holding a beautiful little girl.

Jon continued to sing songs for over an hour bringing out favorites from his vast repertory. Following the recognition there is bottled water and fried bread for the assembled performers. All had a wonderful taste of song, substance, and California Indian culture recognition. Thank you, Aho, Mehan.
Roy Cook: writer, public relations, speaker
Opata/Osage-Mazopioye Wichasha
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