Gathering for TANF Participants
By Roy Cook
Osiyo. Hello, my
Native American relatives. Southern California American Indian Resource,
SCAIR, welcomed our Native American families and San Diego Urban Tribal
TANF participants to the April 16, 2011 Springtime Gathering of Native
Americans, GONA, career training activity.
this Springtime event there is plenty of good cheer, comfortable facilities,
games, surprises and entertainment to be enjoyed from 10am to 3pm, in
the Alpine community center at Alpine, California. There were many happy
rabbit activities: crafts, face painting, balloon creations and games
for the Indian children and also family photo opportunities.
SCAIR Executive Director,
Wanda Michaelis called upon SCAIR Senior Advisor Randy Edmonds for a traditional
blessing to open the proceedings. She then launched a very successful
'ice breaker' activity that paired up two adults that had not known each
other before. There were just three questions to be noted about each:
Name, geographical origin and a special question that no one else knew
about. This activity produces the successful effect for all of us attending
to meet each other and enjoy the quality and humor of the answers. Our
SCAIR Board President Bill Johnson was also very active in facilitating
the flow and success of this activity.
Our SCAIR main speakers,
Randy Edmonds and Roy Cook, presentation theme was bringing Native American
families together in Urban and Rural environments. Randy related aspects
of his life and experience from the Kiowa and Caddo Oklahoma reservations
and the drama of the BIA relocation experience in Los Angeles. He has
a very impressive number of community and sports accomplishments in Oklahoma
and Southern California.
Roy followed with his experience of growing up in South Tucson, Arizona
and the immediate proximity to the Tohono Oodham reservation. Also his
unique early experiences growing up with a number of lifelong friends
on the Santa Ysabel reservation in Southern California. The open dialogue
generated a question and answer session on Tribal Sovereignty, the history
of California Land issues and the effects of the Termination legislation,
HR 108 and Public Law 280 in the last century. What was most strongly
emphasized by both speakers is that no matter what history or politics
or economics may challenge us as Native American people. Our traditional
mission in life remains constant. We are all related and we must make
every effort to do what our Elders taught us, blood relations or not,
every Elder has wisdom that will serve us well in life. Lastly, we must
look to the Indian children and think of them to the seventh generation.
From all of us at
SCAIR, our appreciation at this springtime gathering to all TANF participants
and our Native American families, keep happy hippity hopping this spring.
Thank you: Wado, Aho, Mehan.