Tonkawa Council of Elders
Respect Native American Traditions
The Tonkawa Council of Elders was founded in 1974 by a consortium of American Indian individuals, many of whom were tribal seniors. At that time, they were employed by the San Diego Indian Center located downtown, on Fifth and Cedar. This organization and services no longer exist. Tonkawa Council of Elders is the traditional rock of Native American wisdom for the new millinium.
Our Purpose:
The purpose of the Tonkawa Council of Elders Development Project is to improve the quality of life for American Indian Elders. Our major focus is community development.
Our goal is to provide the resources to assist all American Indian elders in a respectful, traditional manner.
To improve the quality of life for American Indian Elders we will inform and facilitate their access to services that will maintain them in their homes, as respected members of their communities and as keepers of our tribal custom and traditions.

Meeting Dates
Kumeyaay Selected as Senior Leader

Honoring Our Elders Pow wow 2001 - Jane Dumas
Support Services for Senior

TONKAWA Talking Leaf Newsletter
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TONKAWA San Diego Elders Club

July 13, 2014 Noon - 2pm

This day, after adjustments, produced a glorious sense of community. Additional members were able to enjoy this wonderful summer day with smiles and thoughts of recent activities and past members participations. Mr. Popularity (Ben) was anticipated and welcome with a big box of favorite sugar redline donuts.

This day our blessing was by Dennis Charette. His prayer called upon Tunkashila Creator and called for help with those under addiction to benefit the members who could not make it today and their families. Also to those who could benefit from prayer especially those under stress or illness.

Attending today was: Jerry, Rita and his assistant Rachel, Jean, Roy, Ben, Nellie, El and our President Vickie Gambala. She had updates on social events, weddings and progress of the Soaring Eagle dance workshops. Additionally she highlighted the topics of Spousal abuse and racial profiling that were held at a Woman’s’ conference on Rincon. Further an Inter-tribal Pow wow will be held in conjunction with the 100 year Balboa Park Panama exposition. And she reported that IHRC has lost their grant. SCAIR will step in and address the need for job development, coordination and training.

Band culture news included: Local Bird singing culture events at Santa Ysabel, Barona, and Manzanita.

Pow wow news: August CV pow wow on the Bay.

Chula Vista 2014 Soaring Eagle POW WOW in August.

The South Bayfront Artists, Soaring Eagle two day success of the 3rd annual Native American pow wow will be a colorful page in the history book of life. This location is, on many levels is better and the weather should be gorgeous! We thank our title sponsor, the Port District of San Diego.

The American Warriors Association, AIWA, is honored to be invited to participate on many levels in this event. The new and improved pow wow committee is making every effort to be traditional to our Native American culture and followed every protocol in a respectful manner. Enjoy these images from last year by Josie Molo.

Barona Labor day pow wow and the three day Sycuan pow wow.

Tonkawa luncheon selections all very tasty and healthy choices that added to the experience of community. Thanks to El Bissara and Jerry Starns for the shake and bake BBQ chicken. There was an outstanding seafood stew prepared by Dennis C.. Many excellent salads, outstanding sliced fresh melons. It is a Red letter day when we can gather together in fellowship and feast and enjoy each others’ good company.

Everyone is welcome maybe we will see you next month!


Bayside Community Center (Corner of Linda Vista and Comstock)

2202 Comstock St. (Parking ½ block down Kelly frontage St.)

Bayside Community Center 2202 Comstock St.

San Diego, CA 92111
Get directions

Respectfully submitted: TONKAWA Secretary Roy Cook

Respect Native American Traditions
5026 70th. Street
San Diego, CA 92115-1805
WebMaster: Ben Nance