Soaring Eagle 2008 Performances
By Roy Cook

On December 16, 08 the Barrio Station is pleased to add the Soaring Eagles American Indian Dance group to their Children Holiday program. Vickie Gambala and Chuck Cadotte coordinate this Traditional Plains cultural expression. Soaring Eagles are sponsored by: Southern California American Indian Resource, SCAIR under the auspices of the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association. Singing for the Soaring Eagles is the San Diego Inter-Tribal Singers Drum.

Barrio Station Executive director, Rachael Ortiz, said, “Every kid should enjoy the tradition of Christmas. We get 600 children together, and we try to tell them what Christmas is about. It’s more a time of appreciation and a time to be spiritual about life and about each other. They are very young, so you can’t tell them a lot but we try to impress upon them to be good neighbors, not litter in the streets.”

The Barrio Station annual Christmas party also features neighborhood “half-pint” performers, who practice their Christmas songs a few months before the party at a year-round music class that Barrio Station offers. There is also a Christmas choir made up of neighborhood kids. “Out of tune, but we love them,” laughed Ortiz. “They wear little Santa hats, and little hats with reindeer antlers and some wear little angel hats or jingle bell hats. They’re all just really darling.”

Barrio Station is a youth outreach program in San Diego’s Barrio Logan that assists disadvantaged and high-risk youth through prevention and education services, scholarship opportunities and crisis and gang intervention. They hold a toy drive every year that nets 600 toys from numerous participating organizations, which are distributed at their annual Barrio Station Holiday Christmas party.

If there is a modern term we Indian people are familiar with in the urban setting it is Relocation. Sometimes a move is a good thing. For some years that last place we held community dinners had been too crowded for the Indian communities needs. The parking situation is vastly improved, too. The Barrio Station Auditorium 2175 Newton Ave, 92113, with reservations, can accommodate a larger number of happy faces to our community events.

Vicki Gambala estimated over 500 people received traditional American Thanksgiving Day meals during the event. Vickie said the Holiday events have been held for some 15 years and are become a popular tradition for many local San Diego County Urban Indian community members.

Overall the American Indian community is appreciative of the cooperative relationship this year that resulted in the utilization of the Barrio Station for the Thanksgiving Harvest community dinner and the December Holiday Dinner. With this new partnership we are able to serve a greater number of the urban American Indian community in a more comfortable facility.

Also, the Soaring Eagle dance group, under the direction of Chuck Cadotte presented a cultural performance in November for the US Border Patrol Native American month workshop. Each dancer demonstrated a different style of dance and regalia. Paul Broderick, BP Tribal liaison, said, “It was all spectacular and very beautiful to see.”

Additionally Sycuan Tribal Chairman Daniel Tucker addressed the Boarder Patrol group and added his support to the cultural exchange and reflected his appreciation of the invitation to speak to the assembled group.

Thank you all for the opportunity to share our Tribal culture and your participation with Soaring Eagles, Muchisimas gracias, Aho, Mehan!