SCAIR Tribal Urban TANF Awards and Soaring Eagles
By Roy Cook
Kim Flying Eagle and I are here early but we stay out of the way of the workers setting up the room for the event. Folded napkins and cloth tablecloths adorn each of the tables. Centerpieces and nibbles are also added to each table. Over in a corner, Vickie Gambala and Jeannie Alvarado set up a craft corner for the children to enjoy. A Birdhouse is the project tonight.
San Diego Inter-Tribal Singers, the Green River lead singers: Terry Hinsley, Leland Red Eagle, Ben Nance, Frank Gastelum, Richard Decrane, Ernie Walton, Kim Flying Eagle and Roy Cook. We are here in support of the on stage entertainment later in the evening. The Soaring Eagle dance class students will be performing. The American Indian community in San Diego and extended region has enthusiastically received this SCAIR supported dance project. Everyone is invited to participate. All concerned recognize this is something good for many reason and will directly benefit the Indian children that are our future.
Registration was ongoing and completed and it is time for SCAIR Senior advisor Randy Edmonds to provide the Blessing for the food and a welcoming address to all attending this event. Randy called upon Bill Johnson SCAIR board president to offer a few words from the underwriting organization. Also, Randy called upon Lynne Ray Smith, San Diego TANF urban site manager, to represent Dennis Turner, SCTCA executive director and lead into the Awards and Recognition Ceremony.
Lynne Ray recognized the assistance of his attending staff: Sofia Tatula, Melanie Luna and a new member. He then called the first recipient and their family up to the stage. In so many situations, it is only by a total family effort that the participants can complete the necessary requirements of the TANF program. Enjoy the Gary Ballard, photographer images of the justifiably proud recipients and their families and the Soaring Eagle Dancers.
Cultural dance instructors and mentors Eileen George and Jennifer Gastelum lead their Soaring Eagles Dancers onto the Viejas stage.
The San Diego Inter-Tribal Singers and drum group performed on stage with the Soaring Eagles ---pictured are Ben Nance, Kim Flying Eagle, Ernie Walton, Frank Gastelum, Roy Cook, Richard Decrane, Terry Hinsley, Leland Red Eagle.
The Soaring Eagles dancers lined up for a group photo on the Viejas Dreamcatcher theater stage.
The young Native American dancers put on a spectacular show for Viejas guests and family members.
The mostly tribal audience enjoyed the cultural performance.
A young girl dancer stands on stage with her dance group and looks out towards the audience.
A young urban American Indian mother poses for a professional picture with her young son, a tribal dancer.
The early birds got to spend some time at the SCAIR arts and crafts tables. Today's project was building and decorating bird houses....
The Viejas Casino provided its beautiful Dream Catcher theater and professional customer service staff for the tribal event.
Ray Smith, San Diego TANF urban site manager, represented
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Melissa Aleman, an experienced Cherokee dancer, dances with the Soaring Eagles holding a colorful feather fan and light green shawl.
Also of interest is Melissa's hair --- it is braided and decorated with an eagle feather and plume.
Young girls in their pow-wow regalia pictured from the back showing long hair braids.
In addition to Native American dance protocal and regalia making, the young students also learn about how to create traditional hair styles for presentation of their traditional ways.
A young Soaring Eagles dancer is pictured with feathers in her hair, and wearing traditional regalia.
The Soaring Eagles Dancers put on a beautiful show at Viejas.
Professional Viejas catering served up great food.
Native American traditional family values are always a high priority at SCAIR family events.
A Soaring Eagles dancer poses for a snapshot with her mother.
A young mother takes a call while posing for pictures with her children.
A young boy --- a Soaring Eagles Dancer --- posed for a family photograph with his mother.
A young artist paints her birdhouse at the SCAIR arts & crafts table. The young girl is a Soaring Eagles dancer and she was featured The San Diego Union-Tribune article about the Soaring Eagles Dancers program in San Diego County.
A San Diego County Indian family posed for a picture at Viejas.
Many tribal families enjoyed the SCTCA-SCAIR Tribal TANF event.
A Soaring Eagles dancer gets her hair braided and wrapped in preparation for her dancing exhibition.
A Soaring Eagles young boy dancer posed for a portrait during the event.
Family unity is part of every TANF program.
The Soaring Eagles Dancers coordinator Vickie Gambala takes a picture.
The Southern California Tribal Chaimen's Association Tribal TANF staff posed for a snapshot.
SCAIR and SCTCA executive staff posed for a picture.
Excellent fare is provided for the event by California Indian Education CALIE.org: Baked turkey, ham in a pineapple sauce, steamed yellow and zucchini squash, Spanish rice mashed potatoes, baby carrots, tossed salad and pumpernickel and wheat buns with real butter. Later, for desert and coffee, there is a special congratulatory-layered cake and delicious cookies to die for.
Plenty to eat drink and enjoy and it is our time to take the stage for the Soaring Eagles 45minute or more performance. The singers scooted over to the side with the drum; just like practice, nights and the colorful regalia of the student dancers were center stage. Chuck Caddote identified and called for the appropriate song to be sung for each group and individual presentation.
Finally, all presented
themselves grandly and we were all very proud to be a part of this evenings
success. And while inside was so delightful outside was almost frightful
with wind gusts up to 30 miles an hour zooming down from that earlier
pretty snow higher up. Thank you, Aho, Mehan.
EAGLES Proudly Sponsored by:
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: If you would like to volunteer or help support the Soaring Eagles Indian students, please contact Vickie Gambala at (619) 281-5964, (858) 627-7362.SCAIR Tribal urban TANF