On Montezuma Mesa the Friday morning is
charged with activity; Students everywhere, students from everywhere.
It is very reassuring to trust again and again in the hopes and
potential of our greatest Native resources, our youth. What greater
resources do we
have other than our Indian children and young adults. They will
follow the opportunities and challenges of the future. The choices
that are presented to them are up to us. These are our responsibilities.
Sitting here in Montezuma Hall I think back over the last 30
years of campus life with San Diego State College.. well now University,
I guess that's really showing my age!
College Day, Motivation Day, Empowerment Day
it matters little what we label it. This
is the time to inspire students and share our hopes to the education
mission we have been
a part of on this campus. From high schools middle schools, and
even elementary level. You know it's getting harder to tell students
age--they all look so young! I guess that
also is a sign of my times.
Students from North County; Fallbrook, Escondido
and East County, Alpine, El Cajon, Mountain Empire and the different
urban regions of San Diego. Wow, it is so wonderful
to see so many smiling faces! They have set aside the lollipops
of Halloween for a sip
and jolt from the caffeine cup of knowledge and education. This
Empowerment Day is
on the heels of the San Diego Region wide cultural expression in
Golden Hall -
San Diego, November 4, 1999, when 4th and 5th graders were hosted
by City Schools Superintendent Bernstein and Police Chief Bejarano
at the annual. Ninas De Aztlan event.
There were over 70 young ladies of verifiable
Tribal affiliations in attendance. Vicki Gambala, Title Indian Education,
working through Irma Castro, LLAMA Advocacy Program, coordinated
this year efforts Thus, the Indian Education Program together
with the LLAMA Advocacy Program of the Auntie Role Model Project.
The idea is to
recruit from our own communities, Indian women who will act as mentors
and guides as well as be in direct contact with Indian students
Running Grunion, Abel Silvas held the young,
and not so young, audience spellbound
with his stories of California Coastal Tribal ways. At San Diego
State there were many stimulating workshops on leadership, Culture
ways and alternatives to the education process. Key note Speaker
Jill Sherman related significant events of her life and once again
was very stimulating to the audience.
I would be remiss not to mention the; OJ, Java, donuts and crullers.
The lunch was predetermined by the students: Pizza, salad and soft
drinks. A great day! Happy to be
in the midst of our future.
Essay writers and workshop speakers were recognized with gifts of
Native American Indian Student Association.
Finally, following the excellent lunch and
entertainment by the Seventh Generation Singers, the students and
group leaders started forming up for the campus tours. All in all...
a great, beautiful day!
* Submitted by: Roy Cook