San Diego American Indian stories are brought to you by Southern California American Indian Resource, SCAIR.

Empowerment Training SCAIR- TANF: 2012

By Roy Cook

There are rows of brown faces and there is much cultural diversity also evident in the Alpine Community Center. We meet under clear skies and warm March weather. Bill Johnson, SCAIR Board President opened the Empowerment Training event and then called upon SCAIR Senior advisor Randy Edmonds, Kiowa-Caddo, for his Traditional thoughts on Tribal family unity. Randy also presented the blessing for the Empowerment gathering this day.

Warm and welcoming are the hot beverages and sweet refreshments available for the participants to enjoy. SCAIR Project coordinator Frank Pancucci introduced Lynne Ray Smith TANF site manager. Lynne thanked Dennis
Turner, SCAIR-TANF and offered an insight about the featured speaker, Howard Rainer. Also he introduced the TANF staff from Manzanita, La Posta, Alpine and San Diego sites.

Howard Rainer, Taos/Creek BYU educator-author did not require additional amplification for this workshop. He said this would be the empowerment workshop to attend and that everyone should take notes of the presentation.

He had a set of thought provoking questions and interactive exercises to stimulate the group to “turn the page of their life.” He feels the mind is ready to accept or reject each experience. We all have gifts of talent and ability. One of the major points of the day is for everyone that feels they are less than they can be to, “Get out of the box.” How do we do this? By utilizing empowerment- encouragement and validation we can do it. Along with education and training we need a cheerleader in life or spiritual. He truly feels that destiny awaits everyone. Knock on the door of opportunity and speak from the heart.

As we approached the nutritional opportunity he called upon someone to provide a blessing. Since no one stepped up he reminded us that children learn from what they see. We need to set an example of truth and action. Also that prayer is essential to every event.

In life we need to take action. Change is possible and mostly determined by our attitude and passion for life. The most powerful two words are, Thank You. With a continued series of interactive exercises he summarized the empowerment workshop and encouraged everyone to be positive and move forward in each and every way!

Finally, he encouraged a series of questions and opinions to be addressed to him from a personal level and tribal perspective. It was a very dynamic and enjoyable experience.

This, event on 3/20/2012, is sponsored and coordinated by Southern California American Indian Resource Center, SCAIR administration and learning center. The SCAIR main office is located in Alpine and downtown San Diego. Wanda Michaelis is the Executive Director of Southern California American Indian Resource Center. SCAIR both administers and participated in partnership affiliations with: Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF services. Both organizations’ are under the auspices of the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association.

Finally, we thank you all for being a part of the success of this Howard Rainer motivational Empowerment Training gathering.