Indian Education / IHRC Culture Days in Balboa Park
By Roy Cook

This weekend is a blessing from the Creator. All we can desire and need and enjoy was evident in the company of the of the most beautiful people in the world, Tribal People. Children smiling, Grandparents protective and instructive, Warriors grouping together modestly recognize each other gruffly. I suppose it is too evident we males so often appear to be boys in grownups clothes. Maybe it was the times or the circumstances of conflict and harms way. In any case it is good to see us here in the sun, for all the people to see.
The ladies are always first in tribal country. They carry the culture, as they carry the future of the people, our Indian Children. Indian Education for Indian children away from the reservations and homes of their parents and grandparents. Has it really been Twenty-five years? This weekend recognizes the efforts of community members and Indian Education people working to do the right thing for our Indian children.

Don Vigneualt is the Honored Elder for 2003. Each year, the Indian Education program under Vicky Gambala, has selected a Kumeyaay Elder to be recognized. This acknowledgement and respect for the host people of this area is more than a gesture. We all have much to be thankful for to the original people of this corner of Turtle Island. Each time we have days, like the ones we experience this weekend, we too can sigh with appreciation that we have glimpsed the glimmers of Eden.

Vicky Gambala is also the community board Chairperson of the Indian Human Resource Center. IHRC and the Indian Education program partnered up to produce the greatly successful event this weekend. Juan Castellanos was everywhere motivating and doing all he could to see a safe successful event be a part of the experience we all came away with this weekend. Many Thanks, to the great effort of both, Vicky and Juan and their respective organizations.

Beautiful regalia, feathers flying, ribbons flashing in the sun, beadwork sparkling in complex designs. Tribal tradition is visible in each smile and proud glance, everywhere in glorious splendor.

Songs echoed in the canyons of time immemorial. All our relations, to all our relations: here we are once again, we are what you taught us, we are what has been, and will continue to be, Indian people. Thanks to the Creator for the time to be here together again.
Roy Cook: writer, public relations, speaker
Opata/Osage-Mazopioye Wichasha