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 8, 2012 - Noon

Manuel and Celia Flores came in before 11am just behind Roy as he was opening doors and setting up. Also attending early is Gwendalle Cooper, Jean Vigenault and Barbra Shrank. Ben Nance brought in the favorite donuts and he was soon joined by William Buchanan and Dennis Chalotte. Dennis brought in and gifted all with fresh sage. Our blessing is by Cecilia Flores and our wishes for continued gorgeous weather and the health of our family and friends. It is all good when we can gather to feast and enjoy each others’ life experiences and company.

This meeting had a mixed turn out of our faithful TONKAWA membership and friends. We were pleased to see some of our faithful members at the July monthly gathering.

Manuel related an experience that he and Celia had at a funeral mausoleum. The mausoleum was four stories and they were getting tired walking up the flights. They thought to take a breather on a marble bench by the side. They sat down and were recovering their strength as the noticed the names on the bench- Manuel and Cecilia! They jumped up and continued on with resolution that it was not just their turn, yet.

This life experience sparked lively conversations of various end of life practices: tribal and others too. The entire meeting was spontaneous and rich with personal stories of life and travels and work. It is with sad news that I relate that Jean lost her Mother, Genevieve last month. She passed quietly with her family attending after announcing she was 105. She was much younger but it was an ongoing personal family reference of her charm. Also, Jean no longer has her ‘other’ companion the little dog. It too passed on a bit earlier than the loss of her Mother.

We ate up the fine selection of the potluck selections: ‘Portagee-chili’, posole, fresh corn on the cob, chicken thighs in sauce, fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked rice and noodles and tortillas for the chili or posole. Ginger snaps or tons of donuts for sugar highs. We chatted up political and future community activities in addition to upcoming pow pows and conferences intersperse with a lively and exchange of jokes and humorous episodes of our elders’ long lives.

Finally, as we cleaned up the room and were ‘dividing’ up the potluck leftovers we were wishing each other better health options as we made our way out the door to catch up with other late Sunday afternoon activities.

(We are always recruiting Elders to be TONKAWA members!). It is always nice to see new members and guests drop in and are encouraged to return. This is a real nice down home meeting to attend. We are also very pleased to enjoy the regular attendance of TONKAWA along with community guests and family members.

The membership voted that our next SPECIAL TONKAWA luncheon meeting is from 1-3pm at the University Blvd. Home town buffet on August 23, 2012.

We thank the Creator for allowing you this day and being there today, Mehan and Aho.

Respectfully submitted: TONKAWA Secretary Roy Cook