Tribal Community Gathers for Thanksgiving
By Roy Cook

"We are truly blessed." Esther Abrahano gathered her thoughts and spoke from the heart. "The Creator is here and compassionate. All Nations here in this room and all over our great land recognize the gifts of the Creator."
This November 17, Sunday afternoon, a large gathering of Native American families visitors and friends listened to prayers from Anthony Gastelum, Yaqui and member of the American Indian Warriors Association. Gloriously touching women's voices lifted the hearts and emotions of the people. The drum vibrated the wooden floor and entered our body as if thunder and we felt kinetic.
This author is honored to be called on, for the third year, to speak to the community. The topic is Native American Warrior tradition and its role in the USA military. We have always defended this land, our land and our people. This is a Warriors mission that transcends politics. At the same time it is as basic as our love for our Indian ways. All we do is so that the people may live. Mitak Oyatsin.
We were greatly blessed to see so many of our familiar Native American supporters and friends return to this annual community dinner. There were over two hundred in attendance. This is a fine audience to acknowledge a tribute recognition of Mr. Joe Renteria. His tireless work to assist the Native American community is greatly appreciated. The Indian Human Resource Center honored him with a bomber jacket. Joe is a WW II veteran. He served in the Air Force. His family obligations will respectfully be his priority. We all thank you and know if time permits he will be there again for the community.
So what can I say about the dinner? We ate, and ate and talked and laughed and ate some more. After all we need to keep our Indian image in focus. Round, brown, and a little greasy on the sides! Just kidding. I am not kidding about, the bounty of the tables: Turkey, all the trimmings and those delightful side dishes from many Nations. Four kinds of dressing, three bean dishes, hominy stew, eight or ten salads, potatoes, yams and spaghetti for those that need to be different.
I'm not even going to try to describe the desert selection. I will just confess the ladies ran me off as I was trying to sample most of them! Our appreciation to those who are always there to work in the kitchen. Don Vingault and Juan Castellanos sliced The meat and toted the loads from the cars into the serving area. There were a lot of others working hard and I'm sorry if I don't mention you by name but thank you all. Leah Spaga teamed with Mara Peters to keep me from sugar OD.

Hey if you were there you know if it is a good time then the people just stay there and keep talking and enjoying ourselves. They had to run us out, it was a great gathering.

Photos and WebMaster: Ben Nance