San Diego State 2008 American Indian Graduates Celebration

Wildcat Singers present Traditional songs
By Roy Cook

May 22, 2008 Mission Trails Park at 5pm clock time Dr Margaret Field, Chairman of the San Diego State University American Indian Studies Department began by asking the Faculty present to introduce themselves: Linda Locklear, Dr David Kemper and Dr Linda Parker. Then, Dr Field felt it appropriate to smudge the area and also the arriving guests and graduates. The 2008 graduates are: Patrick Brewer (Kiowa), Ianthi de Alwis, Ashley Morgan Graham, Richard Hogue (Chickisaw), Rayna Holt (Juaneno), Kiana Maillet (Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone), Kia Pierson (Tlingit), Thomas Sowles and Steven Garret Wilson (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma).

Jon Meza Cuero was introduced as the song leader of the Three Aukas. This is the fifth or thirty-third years that some of us have been a part of these recognitions of the American Indian graduates. Jon called on Roy Cook, Professor of Humanities and American Indian Studies for a definitive overview of the Southern California traditional song styles and manners of presentation. Roy said the songs Jon had selected were specifically of this place geographically. Further, the other songs were of struggles and conflict resolution. Purposefully, the graduates are now on the cusp of the struggle of life and battles are not just with pistols but also with paper and knowledge. This is Traditional wisdom in a song for all the people.

It is overcast but the sun kept playing peek-a-boo this late afternoon. Light refreshments were available throughout the recognition. A beautifully decorated cake was cut and enjoyed by the graduates and their family and friends. Finally, all had a fine time. Mehan, Aho, Thank you, for being there.